Thanks to his Irish heritage, Adam Mathews of Erwin has always considered himself lucky, but he says the luckiest moment he’s had so far came when he bought two $5 lottery tickets and one turned into a $100,000 prize.
Mathews commutes from Erwin to Sanford for his IT help desk job and often stops at the Kangaroo Express on U.S. 421 in Broadway for gas and to play the lottery. He walked in recently and asked for his favorite ticket, Casino Riches. There were none for sale.
And that’s when the Luck of the Irish happened.
If there had been Casino Riches tickets for sale, Mathews would not have played the Mega Bucks game. And if he had bought only one Mega Bucks ticket, someone else would have gotten the second one with the $100,000 prize.
“I sat there and scratched and I was flabbergasted, stunned,” Mathews said Thursday as he claimed his prize. “I’m Irish and I’ve always thought of myself as lucky, just not that lucky.”
After federal and state tax withholdings, Mathews received $69,251. The good luck means that Mathews, a musician at heart, can finally afford a Les Paul guitar. After that, he said he would catch up on some bills and consider buying a new car or making a down payment on a home.
The Mega Bucks game started in August with 10 top prizes of $100,000. As of Friday, five remain to be claimed.
Ticket sales made it possible for the lottery to raise more than half a billion dollars for the state last year.