Jason Ray of Ronda almost gave away a $250,000 lottery ticket.
Ray was traveling with his friend when he stopped at the USA Mart on Salisbury Road in Statesville and bought two $5 Platinum Payout tickets.
“I held both tickets up to my friend,” Ray said. “And told him to pick one.”
His friend scratched his ticket, and didn’t win. Ray scratched his ticket, and couldn’t believe what he saw.
“I kept thinking, ‘this aint real, is this real?’” Ray said.
It became real when he claimed his prize Friday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh. After required state and federal tax withholdings, Ray took home $173,126. He doesn’t have any plans for the money yet, but says he’ll use it for “something good.”
Ticket sales from games like Platinum Payout made it possible for the lottery to raise more than $634 million for the state last year. For details on how more than $31.2 million in lottery funds has made a difference in Wilkes County, click on the “For Education” section of the lottery’s website.