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January 6, 2017

It’s a good feeling to head home after work. Winning $1 million before you get there feels even better. Just ask Linda Thomas of Chadbourn.

Thomas, who is an assistant manager at a convenience store in Brunswick, finished her shift Friday and drove back to her hometown. When she got there, she stopped at Peacocks Stop on Peacock Road.

That’s where she tried her luck on a $10 Carolina Millions ticket. After scratching the ticket, she saw that she had matched one of her numbers, 10, with the winning numbers.

“When I scratched off the dollar amount, it said ‘1 MIL,’” Thomas recalled. “I cleaned my glasses, put them back on, and it still said the same thing.”

Thomas said she became emotional. She called her son to share the good news and they shared tears of joy.

Thomas, a native of Columbus County, said her good fortune came at a good time. She took people in to live in her home after Hurricane Matthew.

“I’ve never been a wanting person,” Thomas said. “I give more than I receive.”

Thomas plans to continue her giving ways. But she does have a few things on her list to buy with her prize money.

“The only thing I want is a Dodge Charger, a 50-inch TV, a trailer to go behind my truck, and have some little home improvements done,” Thomas said.

Winners in the Carolina Millions game have the option of claiming a $1 million prize in the form of 20 annuity payments of $50,000 or a one-time cash payment of $600,000. Thomas chose the lump sum, worth $417,009 after required state and federal withholdings. With her win, five top prizes of $1 million remain to be claimed.

Ticket sales make it possible for the lottery to raise more than half a billion dollars a year for education. To see how the funds support specific programs in every county, visit and click on the “For Education” page.

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