RALEIGH, N.C. — A Davidson County man said a quick trip to the store to grab an Icee turned into a $1 million win after he bought a Ruby Red 7’s scratch-off ticket, according to a news release from the North Carolina Education Lottery.
With temperatures climbing into the upper 80s on Saturday, Justin Keitt, a FedEx driver from Lexington, stopped by 4 Brothers on Yadkinville Highway in Pfafftown on his break.
“It was so hot outside,” Keitt said. “So I went to get an ICEE and some snacks.”
While in line, he decided to cash in a scratch-off ticket worth $20 and use the money to buy one Ruby Red 7’s ticket. He was in disbelief when he got in his car and started scratching.
“I asked myself, ‘Is this real?’” Keitt said. “I just didn’t believe it at first.”
Keitt made a few more deliveries and drove straight home to put the lucky ticket in his gun safe.
“I didn’t even want to take it out of my pocket,” Keitt said.
Keitt claimed his prize at lottery headquarters in Raleigh on Monday. He had the choice of taking a $1 million annuity with payments of $50,000 a year for 20 years or a lump sum of $600,000. He chose the lump sum and after federal and state tax withholdings took home $417,012.
He plans on using the money to start his own wedding venue business and buy equipment for his go-cart racing 8-year-old daughter, the release said.
“She’s a great racer,” said Keitt. “I just want to help her win.”
Ruby Red 7’s started a year ago with three top prizes of $4 million and four $1 million prizes. One top prize of $4 million remains to be claimed.