She thought she won $20 — but wasn’t wearing her glasses to see big NC lottery prize

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N.C. Education Lottery

An Eastern North Carolina woman thought her lottery ticket was worth $20 — but she wasn’t wearing her glasses.

When she got a better look, she realized she and her partner had scored a $200,000 prize, according to the N.C. Education Lottery.

“I think we were in shock when we found out,” Tamara Burnette said June 30 in a news release.

The couple’s good fortune started with a trip to a Publix store in Jacksonville, roughly 120 miles southeast of Raleigh and near the Camp Lejeune military base. While at the supermarket, officials said the pair spent $5 on a ticket for the Cash Payout scratch-off game.

“We were in the parking lot and Tammy kept saying, ‘I think we won big,’” her partner, John Kopp, told the N.C. Education Lottery.

Burnette’s intuition was spot-on, but she didn’t know it at first.

“I didn’t have my glasses on so I thought it just said $20,” she told officials, laughing. “Then I said, ‘Oh wait there’s more.’”

The ticket had a few more zeroes, meaning the couple scored the top prize in the Cash Payout game. The pair, who live in Onslow County, kept $71,011 after taxes.

“Kopp said he would like to use the winnings to buy a new lawnmower and Burnette said she wants to pay some bills,” officials said in their release.

It’s not the first time someone checking a lottery ticket was initially mistaken. Earlier in June, a North Carolina player thought he won $600 before finding out his lucky ticket was worth much more, McClatchy News reported.

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