Local News

Orange County man strikes 'GOLD' with $200,000 winning lottery ticket

Posted January 27, 2020 8:03 p.m. EST

— Alex Koonce of Chapel Hill walked over to his neighborhood Harris Teeter on Saturday to cash in on a winning $100 scratch-off ticket and walked out with a $200,000 winner.

“I was going to use the $100 I’d won the night before to get more tickets,” Koonce said. “I scratched them on my walk home and hadn’t realized that the 28 matched on one of them.”

Koonce’s habit is to scan all of his tickets using the NC Lottery Official Mobile App. He knew he had a winner when a different kind of message popped up.

“Usually it tells you how much you won,” he said. “But this time the message told me to go to the N.C. Education Lottery in Raleigh.”

Koonce, a data science consultant, is new to lottery games, but knew to sign the back of his ticket and keep it in a safe place until Monday.

“I’ve only started playing over the last six weeks,” he said. “Once you sign it, it’s really only of value to you.”

Koonce bought his winning $5 GOLD ticket from the Harris Teeter on West Barbee Chapel Road in Chapel Hill. He claimed his prize Monday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh.

After required state and federal tax withholdings, he took home $141,501.

When asked what he’d do with the money, he said he’d finish paying off his car and credit cards, and invest the rest into some money market accounts.

Ticket sales from scratch-off games like GOLD make it possible for the lottery to raise more than $700 million a year for education.

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