Having won $3,000 in the N.C. Education Lottery since April, Fred Fox considered himself lucky even before he sat down on Monday to scratch off his latest ticket.
“I’ve been buying scratch-offs at Nic’s for two years - of the 13 Nic’s, I’ve bought scratch-offs at every single one of them,” said Fox, who buys several tickets every week. “In the last seven weeks, I’ve won $500 on two different cards and $1,000 twice, so the last seven weeks have been very, very lucky for me.”
A Wagram resident, Fox is best known in Scotland County as the former owner and voice of WLNC radio.
After deviating from his normal routine and picking up three $10 “Maximum Green” scratch-off tickets at Kangaroo Express on Main Street, Fox sat down with his usual pork chop sandwich at Nic’s Pic Kwik on North Main only to scratch through to a $50,000 prize.
“I was so shocked because I scratched it off and I scratched off the dollar sign and scratched off the five sign, saw the zero and thought oh, 50 bucks,” Fox said.
After taxation, Fox’s winnings total $36,000, and he says he has already spent half between a donation to Laurinburg Presbyterian Church and contributing to his grandchildren’s college fund. For himself, he is considering a new motorcycle.
Though his friends and everyday acquaintances, Fox said, have been pleased for his fortune, one distant relation has come out of the woodwork to ask for money.
“I’ve been doing a lot of scratching and the girls at Nic’s and a lot of people on my Facebook have said - you’re a good guy, you deserve it,” Fox said.
He even responded with good humor to the email from the aunt of his mother’s sister’s brother-in-law’s cousin.
“I sent her back an email saying that I’d just sent her husband $20,000 and if she didn’t get any it wasn’t my fault.”
Fox’s only regret is that he hasn’t yet won the Mega Millions and remains unable to fulfill his dream of donating a new field house to the Scotland High Fighting Scots. But there will be many more scratch-off tickets in his future.
“I’ll be 71 in November and there’s a reason I’m still here,” Fox said. “Maybe 10 percent of that lottery is all God was waiting on, but I don’t think so.”