RALEIGH - Roger Smith, a paper product salesman from Burlington, said he plans to use most of the top prize he won playing $100,000 Taxes Paid to save for retirement.
Smith scratched off his big win on Wednesday morning while standing in the parking lot of Eagles on Glenwood Avenue in Raleigh, where he purchased the ticket. He drove straight to lottery headquarters to claim his prize.
"I've been buying this ticket lately," Smith said. "I buy them when I'm working in Raleigh. After checking the lottery's website, I knew there were more prizes left on it, but it's still surprising to win. I couldn't have played a better ticket, and this win couldn't have come at a better time. I'm just over a year away from retirement, so this will help a lot. "
Smith is the fourth player to win the top prize in the $100,000 Taxes Paid game. The lottery pays the minimum mandatory required federal and state tax withholding as part of the top prizes awarded in the $5 game. The actual top prize Smith claimed was $147,059.
With his winnings, Smith also plans to take a Las Vegas vacation and purchase a used sport utility vehicle.
"It hasn't quite sunk in yet," Smith said as he held his check for the first time. "This is just awesome."
As of Wednesday afternoon, two more top prizes remain to be claimed in the game.
Since the lottery began through June 30, 2011, Alamance County education programs received more than $26.1 million in lottery funds. By law, those funds pay for teachers' salaries in grades K-3, school construction, prekindergarten programs for at-risk four-year-olds, and need-based college scholarships and financial aid.
To date, the N.C. Education Lottery has raised more than $2.45 billion for these initiatives statewide.
NC Education Lottery