North Carolina Man Nearly Tosses Out Winning Lottery Ticket

By Sarah Tate

January 7, 2022

Photo: Getty Images

A North Carolina man had a close call recently when he almost threw away a lottery ticket that won him a six-figure jackpot.

John Cornwell, of Waco, purchased a $1 Cash 5 ticket for the December 30 drawing. When he first check his ticket to see if it was a winner, he was notified to got to the NC Education Lottery office, a move which nearly made him toss out the ticket.

"I checked the ticket and there was a message about going to the lottery office," he told lottery officials. "I almost threw it away. I thought it was just a bad ticket."

Rather than getting rid of the ticket, he decided to ask a clerk at the Waco Stop & Shop on Cherryville Road to scan it again, which revealed that he won the $277,086 prize.

"He said, 'I think you won the big one," Cornwell recalled. "I waited until I got home and screamed out loud to my wife that I won."

His wife, however, didn't believe him at first, thinking he had simply made it up.

"I told her, 'Baby, it's legit," he said. "She still can't believe it."

Cornwell claimed his prize at lottery headquarters on Thursday (January 6), taking home a total of $196,759 after state and federal taxes. When asked what he planned to do with his new winnings, he told lottery officials he wants to pay off his wife's new car and take her on a vacation.

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