SALISBURY, N.C. — A father’s sweet gift helped a North Carolina woman win $1,000 a day for the rest of her life.
Manalle Earnhardt’s father buys lottery tickets for her and her brother on a regular basis, never expecting to win — but always wanting to do something to help.
On Oct. 20, Earnhardt’s father called her to tell her to check her Lucky for Life ticket, according to an NC Education Lottery press release.
“At first I thought something bad had happened,” Earnhardt said. “When you’re dead asleep, that’s the first thing you think.”
When she did, she realized she won the game’s top prize.
“You look at those numbers and you’re not sure if you’re looking at them right,” she said. “You think, ‘How can this be?’”
On Wednesday, Earnhardt claimed her prize.
She had the option of taking a lump sum of $5.75 million or an annuity prize of $365,000. She chose the annuity prize, which amounted to $252,763 after federal and state withholdings.
Earnhardt, who works at the Veteran’s Administration Medical Center in Salisbury, says she will work until she retired.
“I love what I do,” she said. “I didn’t serve in the service, so this is my way of giving back to the veterans.”
The annuity payments will continue for the rest of her life, which means she could receive $10.9 million over thirty years or $14.6 million over forty years.