RALEIGH – Joe Mathews of Raleigh said second chances led him to a “blessed” life with his family in Raleigh and now to a $1 million lottery prize.
Mathews, a 65-year-old fork-lift driver, won the $1 million grand prize in the lottery’s 200X The Cash second-chance drawing on Wednesday. His winning entry was one of 1.3 million in the drawing.
“I believe in second chance,” Mathews said. “I really do. I have had second chances in my life and I’m still getting blessed from them. I’ve gone from the streets to being blessed with a wife, a family, and a home.”
Mathews said he grew up in a tough neighborhood in Detroit and his first second-chance came when he joined the U.S. Army where he served for three and a half years. After the Army, he found his way to North Carolina, a job, a wife, and a family of seven daughters and one son.
He had a choice of receiving the prize as an annuity of $50,000 a year for 20 years or $600,000 cash. He chose the lump-sum amount and, after required state and federal tax withholdings, took home $426,060.
“This will take some stress off me,” Mathews said. He said he planned to pay some bills and pay off the mortgage on his house. He said the best part of winning the prize is he now knows how he will pay for a daughter’s wedding in Aruba in August.
Winners of second-chance drawings get notified of their wins from phone calls or emails from the lottery. Mathews received his call Thursday afternoon and came right to lottery headquarters to collect his prize.
“I’m just blessed,” Mathews said. I’m just so happy now. I really appreciate you giving me that phone call.”
Players get a second-chance with their 200X The Cash tickets by scanning them into their Lucke-Rewards accounts on the lottery’s website where they are automatically entered into the next drawing. Three more 200X The Cash drawings will be held and each offers a $1 million grand prize, a $200,000 prize, and 25 $500 prizes. The next drawing is scheduled for Jan. 4, 2023.
Ticket sales from scratch-offs make it possible for the lottery to raise more than $900 million a year for education.