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Gaston County man wins $1 million lottery prize on the way to work

The father of two immediately went home to share the good news with his wife and then went to work, his winning ticket stowed in his car dashboard under lock and key.
A Gastonia man won $1 million on a Spectacular Riches scratch-off.
A Gastonia man won $1 million on a Spectacular Riches scratch-off.(Source: N.C. Education Lottery)
Published: Nov. 1, 2021 at 2:05 PM EDT
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GASTON COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) – A Gaston County man picked up a lottery ticket on the way to work and ended up winning $1 million.

According to the North Carolina Education Lottery, Joshua Helton of Gastonia picked up a Spectacular Riches scratch-off while making a routine stop for gas and coffee at the QSC Foodmart on McAdenville Road in Lowell.

While at the convenience store, he traded in his winning ticket for two more. When those were not winners, he tried once more. This was the lucky turn.

“I walked back out there and pumped my gas, got back in my truck and scratched it off,” said Helton. “I didn’t really know what to do at the time so I just called my wife and woke her up, told her what was going on.”

The father of two immediately went home to share the good news with his wife and then went to work, his winning ticket stowed in his car dashboard under lock and key, lottery officials said.

Helton claimed his prize Friday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh. According to a release, he had the option of taking the $1 million prize as an annuity of $50,000 a year over 20 years, or a lump sum of $600,000.

He chose the lump sum and after federal and state tax withholdings, he took home $424,507, lottery officials said.

“It was kind of a great morning!” laughed Helton when claiming his prize. “I always hoped to win something big but I never thought I would hit a million dollars.”

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