RALEIGH, N.C. — Thomas Perry of Gastonia said he has wanted a new car for years and now he can get one after a $5 scratch-off purchase drove him to a $200,000 win.

“You just don’t know how much this win will help me,” Perry said. “Now I can finally get my car.”

He bought his lucky Ruby Red 7’s ticket from the Save Mart on Union Road in Gastonia. He took the ticket to his car to scratch it off.

“When I saw the number, I had to go back in the store and scan it to see if it was real,” he said.

Perry collected his prize Tuesday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh and, after required federal and state withholdings, took home $142,501.

“I’m just happy I can finally get some things I really need,” Perry said.

Perry said he hasn’t decided what car he will get, but he just wants “something dependable.”

Ruby Red 7’s debuted in December with six $200,000 prizes. One $200,000 prize remains to be claimed.

Ticket sales from scratch-off games make it possible for the lottery to raise $2.5 million a day on average for education. For details on how $14.9 million raised by the lottery made a difference in Gaston County last year, visit www.nclottery.com and click on the “Impact” section.