GREENSBORO, N.C. — One week after closing on a house for the first time, Patricia Simmons of Greensboro bought a scratch-off ticket and received the ultimate housewarming gift: a $1 million lottery win.

“I just stared at it,” Simmons recalled. “It was unreal to see that.”

Simmons, an in-home aide, said that as a first-time homeowner she initially had concerns about paying a mortgage every month but now her $1 million win will help pay for her new house.

She bought her lucky $30 Millionaire Maker ticket from Fairway One Stop on South Elm Eugene Street in Greensboro.

“I’ve been in shock ever since,” she said. “I’m just numb.”

Simmons said her husband didn’t believe her when she called to tell him the news.

“He said, ‘Tricia you’re playing,’” she laughed. “He wanted to see the ticket.”

When Simmons arrived at lottery headquarters Monday, she had a decision to make. She could choose to receive the prize as an annuity of $50,000 over 20 years or a lump sum of $600,000. She chose the lump-sum amount of $600,000 and, after required state and federal tax withholdings, took home $427,509.

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 $33 million raised by the lottery made a difference in Guilford County last year, visit and click on the “Impact” section.