North Carolina Man 'Caught Off Guard' By Huge Lottery Win

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After years of playing the North Carolina state lottery, a man in Matthews is in shock after finally winning a huge prize.

It was just like any other day when Burrell Cleveland Jr. decided to check his email on his phone. While the process usually includes a few replies and trashing junk mail, this time he noticed something out of place. When he investigated further, he discovered he had actually $100,000 from the North Carolina lottery, WCNC reports.

"I'm still surprised that I'm sitting here," he told lottery officials. "I looked down at my phone to check email and was like, what? It caught me totally off guard."

It was something he and his late wife hoped for, regularly playing the lottery throughout the years with the thought that one day they would be lucky enough to win. The patience finally paid off when Cleveland's entry into a recent Multiply The Cash second-chance drawing was chosen out of nearly 19 million entries.

Cleveland claimed his prize at the state lottery headquarters, bringing home a little more than $70,000 after state and federal taxes. He remembered he and his wife always talking about the possibility of winning the lottery and how they would make the drive to the headquarters in Raleigh.

"It was nice driving in today because I could see her sitting there next to me in the car in spirit," he said. "Here we did it. We're here."

So what does Cleveland plan to do with his newfound winnings?

He plans to put the money into savings to prepare for his retirement. But don't worry, he first plans to celebrate both the win and his birthday with a steak dinner at his favorite restaurant.

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