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news blog > article

Carteret County man bags ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ $1 million prize

May 23, 2023 Posted by NC Lottery at 2:56 PM

Jerry Cooper of Newport said he has always been lucky, but he still stared in shock when his $10 scratch-off ticket revealed a $1 million prize.

“I was in total disbelief,” he said. “It’s one of those once-in-a-lifetime things.”

Cooper, a retail assistant manager, bought his lucky 50X The Cash ticket from Waves Mart & Grill on N.C. 24 in Newport. He called his wife immediately to share the news.

“I told her, ‘You’re not going to believe this. I think we just won a million bucks,’” Cooper said. “She thought I was joking.”

Cooper said he assured her that he wouldn’t joke about something of that nature.

“It’s been kind of surreal for us,” he said. “It’s just a blessing all the way around.”

When Cooper arrived at lottery headquarters Tuesday, he had a decision to make. He could choose to receive his prize as an annuity of $50,000 over 20 years or a lump sum of $600,000. He chose the lump-sum amount of $600,000 and, after required state and federal tax withholdings, took home $427,503.

He said he plans to take a family vacation to the mountains, help pay for his son’s wedding, and put some money toward his retirement.

The 50X The Cash game debuted in February with six top prizes of $1 million. Three $1 million prizes remain to be claimed.

Ticket sales from scratch-off games make it possible for the lottery to raise $2.5 million a day on average for education. Carteret County received $14.9 million in grants, using money raised by the lottery, to help with school construction. For details on other ways Carteret County benefits from lottery funds, visit www.nclottery.com and click on the “Impact” section.


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5/29/2023 05:54 - Ann J.

Congratulations Jerry

5/25/2023 04:15 - Michael H.

Congrats on your win because there are more to come.

5/24/2023 09:29 - john T.

@angela a. And if you look multiple wins in the same location on the same day outta 10,000 plus lottery retailers . Many of these new lottery games are a scam . Like an extra dollar to win 30$ on the pic 3 pft!!!

5/24/2023 07:22 - Jami R.

Couldn’t agree more with Angela. Fast Play is a rip off 100%. I bought 5-$20 Fast Play tickets in a row. Didn’t even win $20 back. A lot of rinky dink places I’ve never heard of or “Charlotte” win on Fast play. I finally got wise and stopped playing it. I spend only $100 per month on the lottery so I do not like just handing it over to them. I know it’s a chance i take when I play, but come on, a win of “something” out of 5 tickets at $20 a pop would have been nice.

5/24/2023 02:32 - Charles E.


5/24/2023 09:58 - Machla P.

Congrats ?????? Spend it wisely.

5/24/2023 09:06 - Denver G.

Good morning LZ. How many other states are in the Luke Combs, Powerball and The price is right 2nd chance drawings ? Thank you in advance and keep up the good work.NC Lottery
Hi Denver, 19 lotteries are participating in Luke Combs and 24 lotteries are participating in NASCAR Powerball Playoff. We will get back to you with the count of Lotteries participating in The Price is Right.

5/24/2023 08:59 - Angela A.

I am just watching this Fast Play grow as a lot of people must be losing just like me. An watch a single person will WIN who only played for the first time. Mark my Words! I just don't like how you can purchase multiple tickets in a row and don't even get a break even prize none less a $500+ WIN.

5/24/2023 05:47 - Joe S.

Congrats from Charlotte! Spend your new windfall wisely.

5/23/2023 10:27 - Lionel C.

Congrats! Nice to see Carteret County on the board

5/23/2023 08:15 - Linda S.

Congratulations on your big Win!

5/23/2023 07:51 - Sabrina D S.


5/23/2023 07:01 - Cheryl M.


5/23/2023 05:38 - Douglas H.

Congratulations Jerry and to your family as well. Enjoy:-)

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