A Gibson man won $750,000 this week playing the North Carolina Education Lottery.
Robert C. Smith said he stopped on Tuesday at Rob’s Convenience store on North Caledonia Road in Laurinburg. There, he bought a 20X the Money ticket and a Jumbo Bucks ticket for $10 each.
“I actually won $100 on the 20X the Money,” Smith said.
When he scratched off the $750,000 prize amount on the Jumbo Bucks ticket, Smith said that he was stunned.
“I’ve hit $1,000 several times, but I never dreamed I’d hit this much,” he said. “It was a shock.”
Smith said that when he called his wife Peggy to share the good news she didn’t believe him at first. By Tuesday afternoon, however, the Smiths had made the trip to lottery headquarters in Raleigh to collect the prize money. After state and federal taxes were withheld, Smith received a check for $510,003.
Smith, a line foreman for the city of Laurinburg, said that he plans to buy a beach house with his winnings. Smith added that he planned to talk to a CPA immediately.
“This is life-changing money right here,” he said. “I want to do this right.”
Smith is a native of the Laurinburg area who has worked for the city for 28 years.
Since the lottery began, Scotland County education programs received more than $10.6 million in lottery funds.
By law, those funds pay for teachers’ salaries in grades K-3, school construction, prekindergarten programs for at-risk four-year-olds, and college scholarships and financial aid based on need.
To date, the N.C. Education Lottery has raised more than $2.45 billion for these initiatives statewide. North Carolina Education Lottery net proceeds are used for prekindergarten programs for at-risk four-year-olds, reduction of class size in early grades, school construction and need-based college scholarships. For prizes of $5,000 and greater, 25 percent federal tax and 7 percent state tax are automatically withheld.