Duplin County grandmother wins $1 million in scratch-off ticket

Lourell Leak of Magnolia said she won a $1 million lottery prize. (Photo: NC Education Lottery)

DUPLIN COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Lourell Leak of Magnolia said she won a $1 million lottery prize because her mother fell asleep.

“I normally play cards with my daughter or mom after work on Friday nights,” said Leak, a meat packer at Smithfield Foods. “My daughter didn’t answer her phone and my mom was sleeping, so I figured I’d get some scratch-off tickets instead.”

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She drove to the C-Check on Brinson Road in Magnolia and bought a 100X The Cash scratch-off ticket.

“When I saw the ‘13’ and ‘13’ I thought maybe I’d won $20 or $30,” Leak said. “When I saw the $1 million I did a double take. I couldn’t believe it.”

She took the ticket to the clerk for a third take.

“When she told me I had won $1 million, we started hugging,” Leak said. “I took the ticket home and woke my mom up to show her. I’m so glad she was sleeping. If she wasn’t, I never would have won the prize.”

Leak claimed her prize Friday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh. She had the choice of taking a $1 million annuity that has 20 payments of $50,000 a year or a lump sum of $600,000. She chose the lump sum. After federal and state tax withholdings she took home $424,506.

“My dream came true,” Leak said after she got the check. “My dream came true, and I feel amazing!”

She plans to use some of the money to get a house and to help her daughter and granddaughter. She also plans to share a little with each of her co-workers.

“I going to tell them that lunch is on me,” Leak said.

Players can enter their “X The Cash” scratch-off tickets into one of four second-chance drawings for a chance to win $50,000. The deadline to enter the first drawing is Sunday.