Paul Cobler Jr. of Dallas had a tough time sleeping on Saturday after a $5 scratch-off purchase revealed a $250,000 prize.

“I was just trying to figure out if I was dreaming or something,” Cobler said. “I could barely sleep after it happened.”

Cobler, a 51-year-old machinist, bought his lucky Mega Bucks Limited Edition ticket from the Walmart on Northwest Boulevard in Newton. He said he took the ticket home and started scratching it while watching TV.

“I was in disbelief,” he recalled. “I just kept thinking, ‘This can’t be real.’”

Cobler arrived at lottery headquarters Monday to collect his prize and, after required state and federal tax withholdings, took home $178,126.

Cobler said he would like to use the winnings to pay off his house, car, and save for retirement.

“Hopefully from here on out it will be an earlier retirement than I was expecting,” he said.

Mega Bucks Limited Edition debuted in August with five $250,000 prizes. Since Cobler won the last $250,000 top prize, the lottery will begin steps to end the game.

Ticket sales from scratch-offs make it possible for the lottery to raise $2.5 million a day on average for education. For details on how $14.9 million raised by the lottery made a difference in Gaston County last year, visit and click on the “Impact” section.