How the Luck

‘Heck yeah, that’s $20!’ Said a NC Lottery Winner, But the Zeroes Didn’t Stop There

Roger Burleson has his own special technique when it comes to buying lottery tickets in North Carolina. As soon as new scratch-off tickets are released by the North Carolina Education Lottery, that’s when he makes his purchase.

Burleson, from Rockwell, explained his lottery ticket buying process, saying, “It’s First Tuesday week. I always try to buy a couple of the new ones.” And that’s how he came to be $200,000 richer after first thinking all he’d won was $20.

Related: NC Visitor Wins $100k After Cashier Makes a Costly Mistake

NC Man Wins $200,000 in North Carolina Education Lottery

The $5 Emerald Green 8 scratch-offs were only released on Tuesday, and Burleson was the first player to win the top prize, said officials in a news release. There are still three top prizes remaining.

He purchased the tickets in Salisbury at an ice cream shop located about 40 miles northeast of Charlotte, authorities said, before he went in to work on Wednesday. He scratched the tickets in the parking lot before leaving. Just imagine how he must have felt the entire time at work after learning that he’d won!

“I was about halfway through the ticket,” said Burleson. “I wasn’t thinking anything of it. Then I saw the first zero and thought, ‘Heck yeah, that’s $20!” Then I saw the third zero, ‘Alright, that’s $200 now!” When I saw the fourth zero, I started to get excited. The zeroes just kept on coming!”

Related: Which US States Are Known for the Biggest Lottery Payouts?

What the North Carolina Man Plans to Do With His $200,000 Lottery Win

After taxes were taken out, Burleson was able to take home a cool $141,501. And what does he plan to do with the money? He said he’d like to pay off his sister’s new car.

But first, he’s going to get a little something for himself: “I’m first going to buy myself a little pick-up truck,” which is indeed, a nice little pick-me-up, especially if he didn’t have to get lawyer advice involved. (which is still a smart thing to do, however.)

“I’m first going to buy myself a little pick-up truck,” he said. “Then I am going to pay off my sister’s car. She just bought it a month ago.”

The odds of Burleson winning were one in 1.26 million, according to game statistics. Sales from scratch-off games in North Carolina help raise more than $700 million a year toward education.

If you’d like to learn more about how lottery funds are used to help make a difference in North Carolina schools, you can visit the ‘Impact’ section of for more details.

Related: NC Woman Sues Ex-Girlfriend for Stealing Her Lottery Ticket

Marion Prince

If Marion Price ever won the lottery, she’d accept the winnings anonymously, hire a lawyer right away, and live modestly on the interest payments from her lump-sum payment. Not that she has a plan or anything…

She finds the stories of lotto winners fascinating—especially those rags-to-riches-to-rags again stories of winners who had it all and then lost everything.

When she’s not researching tales of winners and losers for HowTheLuck, Marion enjoys horseback riding and hiking.

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