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Winners: A Greensboro veteran and retiree, and a Jamestown machine operator take home big prizes in NC lottery games
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Winners: A Greensboro veteran and retiree, and a Jamestown machine operator take home big prizes in NC lottery games

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RALEIGH — A retired Greensboro postal worker and a Jamestown machine operator recently won big lottery prizes, according to releases from the NC Education Lottery

Babacar Samb, 36, of Jamestown, captured the largest prize in Sunday’s Lucky for Life, winning a prize of $25,000 a year for life, lottery officials said.

Samb said he plans to use the money to buy a home for his wife and baby son, according to a release.

Although popular today, North Carolina's lottery was controversial and nearly wasn't passed by the General Assembly.

Samb purchased the Quick Pick ticket at Great Stops on West Wendover Avenue in Jamestown. He said that he stayed up to check his tickets after the drawing was held.

“I woke my wife up,” Samb said in the release. “She couldn’t believe it. She said, ‘No way.’ I said, ‘Yes. This is real. We did it.’”

Winners of the game’s second-tier prize are guaranteed a payment of $25,000 a year for the rest of their life. They can also choose to claim the prize instead as a lump sum of $390,000. Tickets cost $2 each.

Samb chose the lump sum and, after federal and state tax withholdings, he took home $275,925, the release said.

“Wow, it’s amazing,” Samb said. “It’s like a dream right now. It’s hard to believe.”

Samb is the third North Carolinian to win the second-tier prize in the game in the past four weeks. Lucky for Life drawings are held daily and the game has 10 ways to win. The top prize is $1,000 a day for life.

Last week, another Guilford County man won a big lottery prize.

Truman Caddell

Truman Caddell

In a lottery game called the Bigger Spin, retired U.S. Postal Service supervisor Truman Caddell spun a giant prize wheel at a live event Nov. 17 and won a $900,000 prize, according to a news release. 

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A Durham cook, Seima Garcia, landed on a $400,000 prize during the same event for the game, which costs $10.

The two North Carolinians arrived at the Bigger Spin Live set Wednesday guaranteed to take home at least $400,000, lottery officials said. The top prize available was $2 million.

First at the wheel was Caddell, who purchased his Bigger Spin scratch-off ticket from the SP Food Mart on Lawndale Drive in Greensboro during a late-night grocery run.

“I love the game,” Caddell, a Vietnam War veteran who served from 1970-71, said in the news release. “It’s interesting and it’s fun. Out of all the tickets I play, I get excited about this ticket. I’ve been praising the Lord. Hallelujah!”

After waiting some long, nerve-racking seconds for the oversized prize wheel to stop, Caddell was happy to land on a $900,000 prize.

“I feel so blessed,” Caddell said. “My eyes were on the $2 million. I didn’t know how many times the $2 million was on there. After the first time, I was like, ‘I would be happy with anything.’ It was just an exciting moment. That wheel is exciting.”

After state and federal tax withholdings, Caddell took home $637,015, lottery officials said.

Caddell said he first plans to donate 10% of his winnings to his church. After that, he plans to pay off the mortgage on his condo and possibly buy a new house, according to the release.

Seima Garcia

Seima Garcia

Garcia stepped up to the giant prize wheel next. She took a deep breath and gave the wheel a hard spin, lottery officials said.

“Excited, super excited,” said Garcia after the wheel finally landed on $400,000. “My mom is going to freak out.”

Garcia purchased her ticket from the Wellons Village Family Fare on North Miami Boulevard in Durham. After state and federal tax withholdings, she took home $283,265, lottery officials said.

Not only will Garcia’s win afford her the opportunity to return to school, but she is thankful that her daughter can follow down the same path. “I have a sense of peace that my daughter can go to school too,” she said in the release.

The Bigger Spin scratch-off, which launched in September, is a lottery game with multiple ways to win. Players can scratch and reveal a ‘spin prize,’ then visit ncbiggerspin.com to spin an interactive digital wheel. Their digital spin can win them either a cash prize or a chance to participate in the live event and spin for up to $2 million.

Three Bigger Spin Live events remain to be won instantly on the scratch-off ticket and a fourth in a second-chance drawing, lottery officials said.

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