NC truck driver wins almost $500,000 after buying ticket ahead of long-haul drive


ETOWAH, N.C. — Truck driver Timothy Tucker, of Etowah, says winning Sunday’s $480,592 Cash 5 jackpot “was a shocker,” according to an NC Education Lottery news release.

Tucker stopped at Mr. Pete’s Market on Brevard Road in Etowah on Sunday morning.

He knew he’d be heading to Boston the following morning, and his routine before a long-haul drive is to buy his Quick Pick tickets before he goes.

Tucker said he called the next day “to see if anybody won.” It turns out he had won.

“I called it about 25, 30 times,” Tucker said, who had been up all night driving.

Tucker says with a laugh that when he told his wife, “she didn’t believe me at first,” but then she “was really excited.”

“I had to take my truck to the shop,” Tucker said. “I told her, ‘if you let me drive your car to Raleigh, I’ll pay it off for you’ because she just bought a new car last year. She took off work…and rode down here with me.”

Tucker claimed his prize on Thursday.

After required federal and state tax withholdings, he took home $340,020.

“I’m a pretty simple person,” he said. “I plan on investing it. And now I get to retire a little bit earlier than I would have.”

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