DURHAM, N.C. - Terri Watkins, a nurse who works with COVID-19 patients, had her prayers answered when she got a call from the North Carolina Education Lottery last week.
She didn’t believe it at first, but Watkins won a $1 million prize in the Supreme Riches second-chance drawing last Wednesday. Out of 513,000 entries, she was chosen.
"I thought that it was a scam. I was a little upset actually," Watkins recalled. "I thought that it was not real, couldn’t be real. It’s still something that I really don’t believe, I’m still in some shock here."
Watkins said she’s thankful for the win, especially after some of the things she’s had to see at work amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I had been praying for something to help me with this situation," Watkins said. "It really is a great thing. I’m very blessed."
Watkins claimed her prize at the lottery headquarters in Raleigh. Had she taken the annuity, she would’ve seen 20 payments of $50,000 a year.
But she chose the cash option, which equaled a one-time $600,000 payment. After state and federal taxes applied, Watkins took home $424,5000.
A North Carolina nurse who works in the COVID unit won a $1 million prize in the state’s lottery. (Source: North Carolina Education Lottery)
In any case, Watkins is resisting temptation to spend her winnings.
"I’m just going to take it slow and easy and figure out what I’m going to do," Watkins said. "I would love a new home, but I’ve just got to take time and put it in the right place."
This story was reported from Atlanta.