A Sunday afternoon drive took Donna Griffith of Wilmington on a path that led her to a $4 million lottery prize.
“One of my favorite things to do is go for long drives,” Griffith said. “It’s nice and peaceful.”
After church, Griffith and her husband jumped in the car and hit the road.
“It was such a beautiful afternoon,” Griffith said.
They kept driving until they reached the Phoenix Travel Center on N.C. 210 in Rocky Point.
“It’s one of my favorite places to get lottery tickets,” Griffith said. “So I asked my husband to stop.”
The clinical researcher bought a $200 Million Blowout scratch-off ticket and took it back to the car.
“I gasped when I scratched the ticket,” Griffith said. “I was speechless. I couldn’t talk. It didn’t feel real. It’s still surreal.”
Griffith claimed the prize Wednesday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh. She had the choice of taking a $4 million annuity that has 20 payments of $200,000 a year or a lump sum of $2.4 million. She chose the lump sum. After required state and federal tax withholdings, she took home $1,692,030. Griffith said she plans to use most of the money for retirement.
“I’m not going to quit my job,” Griffith said. “I enjoy what I do. It will just be nice to have this for retirement.”
The $20 ticket launched in October 2014 with four $4 million top prizes. Since Griffith won the last top prize, the lottery will take steps to end the game.
Ticket sales from games like $200 Million Blowout make it possible for the lottery to raise more than $600 million a year for education. For details on how lottery funds have made a difference in all of North Carolina’s 100 counties, click on the “Impact” section of the lottery’s website.
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