He almost threw the ticket away, but decided to ask the clerk to scan it again before he tossed it. Something made John Cornwell think twice about tossing his $1 Cash5 ticket into the trash.
At first glance, he thought it was just a bad pull, according to lottery officials. It turned out that he won $277,086.
“I checked the ticket and there was a message about going to the lottery office,” Cornwell told North Carolina Education Lottery officials. “I almost threw it away. I thought it was just a bad ticket.”
He decided to double check, just in case, and walked back in to ask the Waco Stop & Shop store clerk on Cherryville Road to scan his ticket again.
“He said, ‘I think you won the big one,’” Cornwell, 70, told the officials. “I waited until I got home and screamed out loud to my wife that I won.”
According to the lottery, Cornwell is a machine designer and bought the ticket for the Cash 5 drawing on Dec. 30. The Cash5 lottery is one of four lottery games in the state where players have the chance to buy tickets through online pay on the website or mobile app, according to the lottery. The tickets are all $1.
When Cornwell got home, he told his wife what happened, according to officials.
“She thought I made it up,” Cornwell told the NC Education Lottery. “I told her, ‘Baby, it’s legit.’ She still can’t believe it.”
After taxes, Cornwell took home $196,759, which he plans to use toward paying off a new car for his wife, and taking her on vacation, he told lottery officials.