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Lightning strikes twice

AHOSKIE – It’s been said that lightning never strikes the same place twice.

For Johnny Daughtry, that’s not necessarily the case.

No, the local carpenter did not endure a jolt to his body due to an electrical bolt from the sky. Rather, this “jolt” was to his wallet as the Ahoskie man saw his run of luck extended in the NC Lottery.

On Friday of last week, Daughtry returned to the Big Winner’s Room at the Lottery headquarters in Raleigh for the second time in three months, this time claiming a $1 million win in the $200 Million Blowout game. He won the first time in another scratch-off game back in December.

“It’s wild,” said Daughtry. “It was a big surprise.”

According to Lottery officials, Daughtry purchased his lucky $20 ticket at the Duck Thru Food Store on Memorial Drive in Ahoskie. The $1 million prize comes as either an annuity of $50,000 a year for 20 years or a lump sum of $600,000. Daughtry chose the lump sum and received, after tax withholdings, a check for $415,506.

He said he had not yet decided how to use his winnings.

Three top prizes of $4 million and 11 prizes of $1 million remain to be claimed in the game.

Daughtry’s latest luck came on the heels of winning the $500 a Week for Life! game the week before Christmas. The $500 a Week for Life! top prize guarantees winners an annual prize of $26,000 for the rest of their lives or a lump sum cash prize, worth $354,000. Like he did with his latest prize, Daughtry chose the lump sum, and received a check for $244,968 after state and federal taxes were withheld.

Daughtry said he scratched off the lucky $1 ticket on Dec. 17 while pumping gas at the Wilco on Academy Street in Ahoskie.

“I originally thought I’d just won a dollar,” said Daughtry at that time. “When I saw the actual prize, it blew my mind. Best dollar I’ve ever spent. It changed my life big time.”

He said he plans to use his winnings to buy a new home, purchase a Dodge Charger for his fiancé, and “put a smile on my family’s face this Christmas.”

The game is part of a family of four instant games that the Education Lottery always has on sale. The tickets are available for $1, $2, $5 and $10 per game and include prizes of as much as $5,000 a week for life. Winners can choose from one of two options to collect their winnings. A top prize is structured in annual payments that continue for a winner’s entire life. The guaranteed value of the prize is at least 20 years of payments to a winner or his designated estate. Top prize winners can also choose to claim their winnings as a lump sum with a cash value equal to the guaranteed prize amount.

Ticket sales have made it possible for the lottery to raise more than $3.6 billion for the state. North Carolina Education Lottery net proceeds will be used this year to help pay salaries of teachers and teacher assistants, for pre-kindergarten programs for at-risk four-year-olds, school construction and repair, and need-based college scholarships and financial aid. For details on how more than $9.2 million in lottery funds have made a difference in Hertford County, click on the “Where the Money Goes” tab on the lottery’s website.

For prizes greater than $5,000, 25 percent federal tax and 5.75 percent state tax are automatically withheld.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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