Laid-off Raleigh, N.C. Worker Wins $4M Lotto Prize

Feb 14, 2012 1:58pm
ht lotto ticket jef 120214 wblog Laid off Raleigh, N.C. Worker Wins $4M Lotto Prize

(Image credit: N.C. Education Lottery)

Camelia McClain, 39, of Raleigh, N.C. may have thought she reached bottom when she lost her job last week, but two days later she won the state’s top $4 million lottery prize.

The single mother of three won the first $4 million top prize in the new Cash Blowout lottery game on Thursday. She bought the two $20 tickets two days after learning she was losing her job as a receptionist, a post she had held for 22 years.  She said she had bought lottery tickets before but decided to “press my luck” after she lost her job, adding that she was “far from broke” at the time.

McClain said she did not scratch the tickets immediately but brought them home and prepared dinner for her children first.

“I scratched the first ticket and didn’t get anything,” she said. When she scratched the second ticket, she had to ask her children, parents and nephew who were in the home to confirm what she couldn’t believe.

“I had everyone look at that one ticket to look at what it said,” she said.

McClain said she doesn’t want the “unbelievable” win to change her.

The Cash Blowout lottery game, which the North Carolina Education Lottery launched Jan. 10, has three $4 million and seven $1 million prizes. McClain collected her winnings on Friday, choosing to claim the prize in annuity payments of $200,000 over a 20 year period. After taxes were withheld, she received her first check for $136,006 on Friday, the lottery organization said.

McClain said she is still filling out job applications.

“All I know is work so that’s what I’m going to continue to do,” she said.

When asked what she will do with her winnings, McClain said her family would play a role in the decision.

“We sort of talked about it on Sunday but we’re going to talk again this Sunday,” she told ABC News. “It’s not just something you can jump into and say, ‘We’re going to do this.’”

McClain said she has her own children, a sister, nephews and her parents to consider.

“We want to make sure everyone is comfortable,” she said.

To date, the North Carolina Education Lottery said it has raised more than $2.2 billion for education initiatives statewide.
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