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North Carolina man wins $100,000 in Virginia lottery

Mar 31, 2004, 4:37 am

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Virginia LotteryVirginia Lottery: North Carolina man wins $100,000 in Virginia lottery

It seems that James Lawson's phone has been ringing a lot more these days.

"Reidsville is a small town," he says. "News travel fast around here."

The news: the 55-year-old retired tobacco plant worker won $100,000 Friday in the Virginia "Cash 5" Lottery.

Lawson learned of his winnings while watching golf on television. From his Reidsville home, he is able to pick up a Roanoke television station that broadcasts the lottery numbers at 2 and 11 p.m. every Monday through Saturday.

Once the numbers were called, he wrote them down and laid them aside so he could finish watching one of his favorite sports.

During a commercial break, Lawson decided to check the winning numbers with the ones he had gotten on a quick pick from People's General Store in Ridgeway, Va.

"When I realized I won, I hollered," he said.

The chance of one person matching all the numbers in that game is 1 out of 278,256, said Edward Scarborough, a spokesman for the Virginia lottery.

Lawson told his wife, Betty, about their good fortune and said he was headed to Roanoke to pick up their winnings.

Since it was late on a Friday afternoon, Betty Lawson tried to convince her husband to wait until Monday to claim their winnings.

"I just wouldn't have been able to rest all weekend knowing my money was up there," James Lawson said. "I had to go."

He knew where the lottery office was because he had been there before to claim other winnings. How much? He wouldn't say. But Friday's winning was the biggest one he's ever had.

After all taxes were withheld, the Lawsons were left with $71,000, Scarborough said.

The Lawsons found a branch of their local bank in Virginia and deposited most of the check. "I told (the bank teller) to give me just enough for gas," he said.

He got a little more than that. After leaving the bank, he went by the convenience store where he bought his winning ticket. The clerk who sold him that quick pick ticket was on duty.

Lawson said, "You're the one who sold me that ticket. That was a lucky ticket." He then handed her $50.

He left the store, but quickly turned around, went back into the store and gave her another $50.

The money comes just days before the Lawson's 32nd wedding anniversary. "I think I'll buy her a nice pocketbook and put $32 in it," he said. "I'm just joking."

James Lawson says he has not made any plans for the money. For now it's in the bank. The couple, who do not have any children, often travel to places like Las Vegas, Atlantic City and other spots by plane or in their motor home. "We're retired so we do what we want to do," he said.

Right now, he wants to keep playing the lottery. He went Tuesday to buy tickets. "They all knew me and were smiling at me and congratulating me," he said. "I liked that."

Greensboro News Record

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2 comments. Last comment 16 years ago by CASH Only.
Page 1 of 1
JackpotWanna's avatar - squiz

United States
Member #4121
March 23, 2004
817 Posts
Posted: March 31, 2004, 7:38 am - IP Logged

What a nice guy. He deseved to win.

    United States
    Member #379
    June 5, 2002
    11296 Posts
    Posted: April 3, 2004, 9:47 am - IP Logged

    Even NC winners know lump sum is better.