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North Carolina nurse working in COVID-19 unit at long-term care facility wins $1 million on a scratch-off ticket

"Just seeing some of the things that I’ve had to see, I am very thankful. I had been praying for something to help me with this situation."

DURHAM, N.C. — A nurse working on the frontline got the surprise of a lifetime when she won $1 million in the North Carolina lottery.

Terri Watkins of Durham said she couldn’t believe her ears.

“I thought that it was a scam. I was a little upset actually!” she recalled laughing. “I thought that it was not real, couldn’t be real. It’s still something that I really don’t believe, I’m still in some shock here.”

Her entry was chosen from over 513,000 entries in the final $300,000,000 Supreme Riches second-chance drawing on Wednesday. 

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Winners of second-chance drawings receive a phone call or email notifying them that they won.

“I’m a nurse and I work in the COVID unit at a long-term care facility,” said Watkins. “Just seeing some of the things that I’ve had to see, I am very thankful. I had been praying for something to help me with this situation. It really is a great thing. I’m very blessed.”

Watkins claimed her prize Thursday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh.
She had the option to take the $1 million prize as an annuity of 20 payments of $50,000 a year or a lump sum of $600,000. She chose the lump sum and took home $424,500 after required state and federal tax withholdings.

“I’m just gonna take it slow and easy and figure out what I’m gonna do,” said Watkins. “I would love a new home, but I’ve just got to take time and put it in the right place.”

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