Retired North Carolina Teacher Hits Jackpot With $1 Million Lottery Win

By Sarah Tate

June 14, 2021

Photo: Getty Images

A woman in North Carolina is celebrating in style after winning $1 million in a North Carolina lottery game.

Teresa Saunders, a retired Wake County Public Schools teacher, was shopping for her granddaughter's 16th birthday when she got a phone call telling her she won $1 million in the state lottery, The News & Observer reports. Out of 1.3 million entries into the Millionaire Maker Second-Chance drawing, Saunders was the lucky winner.

When she got the call, she wasn't sure if it was true or if she had actually just won $1 million.

"Wow, I really hope it is really, really, really true," Saunders told a woman with the state lottery over the phone, to which the worker replied, "I promise you that it is."

"If it's true, you just made my entire life as happy as can be," said Saunders.

After she got off the phone, she celebrated the way that many people would: with a glass of champagne on the porch of her Rolesville home.

Saunders claimed her prize at lottery headquarters in Raleigh on Thursday (June 10). She had a choice between receiving $50,000 per year for 20 years or a one-time payment of $600,000. Saunders chose the latter, bringing home a total of $424,500 after state and federal tax withholdings.

So what does she plan to do with her newfound winnings?

According to the newspaper, Saunders plans to head West and take a trip to Wyoming as well as help her children and grandchildren. And after a long career in education, she hopes to enjoy a comfortable retirement.

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