A North Carolina man hit the jackpot — then kept a promise to his friend of 35 years.
Perry Charles called his longtime pal to let him know the two would share the $361,527 prize, according to the N.C. Education Lottery.
“I was lost for words,” his friend, Scott Edwards, said July 14 in a news release. “I was kind of in shock too because to me that’s a lot of money to win.”
The friends are splitting the jackpot prize as part of an ongoing pact.
“We always talked about if we would hit something big, it didn’t matter if we went in together to get the ticket or if we got it separate, we were gonna share it with each other,” Charles said in the release.
Charles scored the big windfall after stopping at Mast Food Mart in Lexington, a city known for barbecue. At the store roughly 25 miles south of Winston-Salem, officials said he bought a $5 ticket for a Fast Play jackpot game.
“I’d just gotten off of work,” Charles told the N.C. Education Lottery. “I looked at the amount you could win and thought to myself, ‘Man, I want this.’”
It turns out, Charles’ lucky ticket beat 1-in-320,000 odds to win big. Once he discovered he was getting the extra cash, he stuck to his word and shared the news with his close friend.
“I know that anything he says is just the truth,” Edwards, who lives in the Greensboro-area community of Julian, said in the release. “So, I knew when he told me that he wasn’t pulling my leg.”
Edwards and Charles are keeping $128,361 after taxes and plan to pay off bills. The win comes decades after the two met as co-workers at a Winn-Dixie grocery store.
“He’s what you call a true friend,” Edwards told lottery officials. “Kinda like family.”
It’s not the first time someone has been eager to share their lottery winnings.
Also in North Carolina, a truck driver planned to help out his mom and other relatives after scoring a $10 million prize, McClatchy News reported in June 2021.
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This story was originally published July 15, 2022 8:55 AM.
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