Thigpen, who recently retired, was picking up dinner at a Zaxby’s drive-thru when he decided to check his email.
“I was sitting in line and I got an email from the North Carolina Education Lottery,” recalled Thigpen. “When I got my food, I pulled over into the parking lot and read it again. I thought someone was playing a game. I couldn’t believe it.”
After picking up dinner, he went home to share his good fortune with his wife. “I just couldn’t believe it, I was so excited,” said Thigpen. “I was so excited, I couldn’t eat.”
Thigpen claimed his prize on Tuesday and after federal and state tax withholdings, he took home $70,750.
“I plan on taking vacation as soon as everything’s settled down,” said Thigpen. “I’m gonna donate to my church and just share it with my kids.”
Thigpen’s entry beat odds of 1 in 14 million to win the top prize in the first of four 2020 Multiply the Cash second-chance drawings on May 20th. Eric Alexander of Scotland Neck won the top prize in the second drawing on June 3rd.