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Burlington man rescues $200,000 Powerball ticket from garbage

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RALEIGH, NC (NEWS RELEASE) – James Dixon, a retired maintenance supervisor from Burlington, almost made the mistake of throwing away a Powerball ticket that would turn out to be worth $200,000. Dixon, who matched all five white balls in the May 21 drawing, tossed the ticket in the garbage after checking his numbers in the newspaper. Fifteen minutes after taking the garbage out for pickup, he realized the numbers he checked were from a previous day’s edition. Something told him to retrieve his ticket from the garbage and compare his numbers to those on the lottery’s website.

“The trash was already down at the street ready to be picked up,” Dixon said. “I went out and pulled the bag, took it inside and dumped everything into a laundry basket. After I found it, I looked at the Powerball number and I was one digit away. I checked the first number and said ‘Well, I got the first one.’ Then I looked at the second and third. I just started feeling numb.”

Dixon said the feeling of numbness and disbelief had not diminished, even as he waited to receive his check at NCEL headquarters in Raleigh. He went to great lengths to verify his win, calling the NCEL hotline numerous times and having the ticket scanned at two lottery retailers including the Wilco on Webb Street in Burlington where he purchased the ticket.

As he received his check, worth $136,000 after taxes were withheld, Dixon told lottery officials that he plans to use his winnings to pay off his mortgage and spend some time in the mountains with his family.

“I’ve never seen a check like that before,” Dixon added. “This is a blessing.”

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