WAKE COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — Teresa Saunders, of Rolesville, won $1 million in the first Millionaire Maker Second-Chance drawing, according to an NC Education Lottery news release.
“I’m so excited. I don’t believe it,” she recalled. “I’m just so thrilled, and I’m speechless.”
Saunders was at Party City on Wednesday afternoon, shopping for her granddaughter’s Sweet 16 birthday party the next day, when she got a call letting her know she won.
“I started crying in the store!” she said. “All I thought was, ‘I have to get to my car right now!’”
Her entry was chosen from over 1,319,154 entries in Wednesday’s Millionaire Maker second-chance drawing. Winners of second-chance drawings receive a phone call or email telling them about their win.
“I’ve always said, ‘the only way I’ll ever be a millionaire is if I won the lottery!’” Saunders said. “So I went home, I fixed me a glass of champagne and I sat down on the porch. I think I sat there until about 9:30!”
Saunders claimed her prize Thursday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh. She had the choice of taking the $1 million as an annuity of 20 payments of $50,000 a year or a lump sum of $600,000.
She chose the $600,000 lump sum and after required state and federal tax withholdings, took home $424,500.
Saunders, a retired literacy coach with the Wake County Public School System, said she plans to take a trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, live a comfortable retirement and help her children and grandchildren have a good life.
“It’s a comfortable feeling,” she said.