North Carolina Man Wins Lottery Twice After Accidentally Buying 2 Identical Tickets

The prize is one of the Lucky for Life drawing's largest, second only to a $1,000-a-day-for-life payout, and the man has plans to invest the winnings in his business.

learn more about Amanda Breen

By Amanda Breen

Most people would count themselves extremely lucky to win the lottery once, let alone twice. But when 49-year-old Scotty Thomas of Fayetteville, North Carolina couldn't remember whether he'd already bought a lottery ticket for the November 27 Lucky for Life drawing, that's exactly what happened.

"I was just laying in bed watching a basketball game on TV and I couldn't remember if I filled it out or not," said Thomas, per the North Carolina Education Lottery. "I went ahead and filled it out again, and the next morning my son asked why there were two different amounts listed. I realized, "I think I filled it out twice.'"

The prize Thomas won is one of the Lucky for Life drawing's largest, second only to a $1,000-a-day-for-life payout, according to the lottery.

Related: Woman Says She Accidentally Destroyed $26 Million Winning Lottery Ticket in Washing Machine

"When I realized I won, I had to lay down on the floor because I really just couldn't believe it," Thomas said. "It's just a blessing."

Thomas, a dump-truck operator, had a life-changing decision before him. He could take both prizes as annuities, netting $50,000 total each year; take one as an annuity, receiving $25,000 a year, and the other as a lump-sum payment of $390,000; or take both as lump sums for a total of $780,000.

Thomas chose to take a lump sum for both tickets for a total of $551,851 after taxes, the lottery said. He plans to use the money to invest in his business, pay off bills, help his family and potentially buy a house.

Related: How to Virtually Guarantee You'll Win the Lottery

Amanda Breen

Entrepreneur Staff

Features Writer

Amanda Breen is a features writer at Entrepreneur.com. She is a graduate of Barnard College and recently completed the MFA in writing at Columbia University, where she was a news fellow for the School of the Arts during the 2020-2021 academic year. 

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