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Charlotte man nearly trashed his scratch-off lottery tickets. He’s glad he didn’t.

A Charlotte man was about to throw three scratch-off lottery tickets away after none of them won much.

Then he saw the second-chance heading on the Colossal Cash tickets, according to a lottery news release on Thursday.

“Until I read that, I didn’t even know there were second-chance drawings,” Derrick Suber told NC Education Lottery officials.

Suber entered his tickets into the $10,000,000 Colossal Cash Second-Chance Drawing on the lottery’s website and won $1 million. He beat odds of 1 in 990,000, according to the lottery website.

Players can enter winning and non-winning tickets into second-chance drawings for a chance to win cash and other prizes.

“I thought, ‘Is this really happening?’” Suber told officials when he claimed his prize at lottery headquarters in Raleigh on Thursday. “This isn’t something that happens every day.”

Suber could choose between an annuity with 20 annual payments of $50,000, and a $600,000 lump sum. He chose the lump sum.

After tax withholdings, he took home $424,500, which he will use to pay his student loans and mortgage.

“It feels great to have this second chance,” Suber, an electrical technician, told lottery officials. “To be debt free and not have to worry about this is a blessing.”

Three $10,000,000 Colossal Cash second-chance drawings remain. The game offers 25 prizes of at least $1 million, with the top prize $10 million.

Another recent $1 million lottery winner from North Carolina left the winning Powerball ticket unattended for weeks on his dining room table, The (Columbia) State reported Wednesday. The man said he was stunned and his wife was speechless when they finally checked the numbers, according to a South Carolina Education Lottery release.

The man, who chose to remain anonymous, bought the winning ticket for the June 8 Powerball drawing at a Nanba in Bennettsville, The State reported.

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Joe Marusak has been a reporter for The Charlotte Observer since 1989 covering the people, municipalities and major news events of the region, and was a news bureau editor for the paper. He currently reports on breaking news.
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