RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCT) — Donald Pittman of Newport got an itch on his hand so, following advice from his mother, he bought a $5 scratch-off and won a $200,000 prize.
“I was heading in to work and originally wasn’t going to stop for a ticket but my hand started itching so I put it in my pocket,” Pittman recalled. “My mom used to always say if your hand is itching to put it in your pocket and money is going to come to you.”
Pittman said he is glad he followed his mom’s superstition.
“Mama is always right, isn’t she,” he laughed.
He bought the lucky Ruby Red 7’s ticket from the Waves Mart & Grill on N.C. 24 in Newport. After he scratched the ticket and saw the amount, he brought it back inside so the retailer could scan it to verify his win.
“When she saw the amount, her eyes bulged out of her head,” Pittman said.
He texted a picture of the winning ticket to his wife.
“She sent back question marks,” he said. “I told her to look at the number and then the texting was over and it was a phone call.”
Pittman arrived at lottery headquarters Thursday to collect his prize and, after required state and federal tax withholdings, took home $142,501.
He plans to put most of his winnings in savings but will probably buy a dirt bike too.
Ruby Red 7’s debuted in December with six $200,000 prizes. Since Pittman won the last top prize, the lottery will begin the process of ending the game.
Ticket sales from scratch-off games make it possible for the lottery to raise $2.5 million a day on average for education. Carteret County received $14.9 million in grants, using money raised by the lottery, to help with school construction. For details on other ways Carteret County benefits from lottery funds, visit www.nclottery.com and click on the “Impact” section.