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NC man nearly throws away winning lottery ticket

Cornwell, a 70-year-old machine designer, bought his lucky ticket for the Dec. 30 Cash 5 drawing.

WACO, N.C. — A man from Waco, North Carolina, almost made a huge mistake when he nearly threw away a $1 Cash 5 ticket that turned into a $277,086 jackpot, according to NC Education Lottery.

“I checked the ticket and there was a message about going to the lottery office,” John Cornwell said. “I almost threw it away. I thought it was just a bad ticket.”

Good thing for Cornwell, he thought twice about it and asked the store clerk at the Waco Stop & Shop on Cherryville Road in Waco to scan his Quick Pick ticket again for him.

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"He said 'I think you won the big one,'" Cornwell said. "I waited until I got home and screamed out loud to my wife that I won."

He said when he told his wife what happened, she could not believe it was real.

"She thought I made it up," Cornwell said. "I told her, ‘Baby, it’s legit.’ She still can’t believe it."

WCNC Charlotte is always asking "where's the money?" If you need help, reach out to the Defenders team by emailing money@wcnc.com.

Cornwell, a 70-year-old machine designer, bought his lucky ticket for the Dec. 30 Cash 5 drawing. He arrived at lottery headquarters on Thursday to collect his prize and, after federal and state tax withholdings, took home $196,759.

Cornwell said he wanted to use the money to pay off a new car that he bought for his wife and take her on a vacation.

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