‘It’s a miracle!’: Great-grandmother in North Carolina wins $10 million on Christmas Eve

(Image provided by the North Carolina Education Lottery)

GROVER, N.C. — Dorothy Martin of Grover didn’t expect any excitement on Christmas Eve, but said that all changed when she won a $10 million lottery prize.

“It’s a miracle!” Martin said, according to a press release from the North Carolina Education Lottery. “It’s a Christmas Eve miracle. I still can’t believe this is happening.”

Martin’s good fortune started when she stopped by the Number Three Handy Mart on Blacksburg Road in Grover and bought an Extreme Millions scratch-off ticket. She took the ticket to her car and started scratching.

“I started at the bottom,” Martin said. “I didn’t match any of the numbers. When I got to the top I closed my eyes and scratched. When I opened them I couldn’t believe it. I just thought, ‘Could this be real?’”

Martin went back inside and had the clerk double check the ticket.

“I told her, ‘If this is real, you better call the paramedics now. I’m sure I’ll have a heart attack,’” Martin said.

It was real, and Martin claimed her prize Friday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh. She had the option of a $10 million annuity that has 20 payments of $500,000 a year or a lump sum of $6 million. She chose the lump sum and, after required state and federal tax withholdings, took home $4,230,069. She plans to use some of the money to get a new home. She also plans to help her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

The $30 ticket launched in December 2016. Players can enter their Extreme Millions tickets into a second-chance drawing for a chance to win $1 million.

Ticket sales from draw games like Extreme Millions make it possible for the lottery to raise more than $650 million a year for the state. For details on how lottery funds have made a difference in all of North Carolina’s 100 counties, click on the “Impact” section of the lottery’s website.

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