A colon cancer patient was on his way to his last chemotherapy session when he stopped to buy a lottery ticket. It wound up making the end of his medical treatment even sweeter.
Ronnie Foster of Pink Hill, North Carolina, initially bought a $1 ticket at a Short Stop Food Mart in Beulaville and won $5, according to a statement from the North Carolina Education Lottery. Then he decided to trade it in for two more tickets.
The result was a $200,000 prize.
"I was already happy because it was my last round of chemo," Foster, a retired worker for the state Transportation Department, said in the statement. "Winning this made it my lucky day."
When Foster scratched the first of his new round of tickets, he won nothing. The second ticket, however, contained the big win.
"I saw all those zeros and I froze," Foster said. "I didn't believe it until I gave it to the clerk at the counter to scan. When it showed, 'Go to lottery headquarters,' I started shaking. I couldn't believe it."
Foster claimed his prize Friday at the lottery's headquarters in Raleigh and went home with $141,501 after taxes, the statement said. He said he plans to pay his medical bills with some of the money and save the rest.
"I have good insurance," Foster said. "But there is still some cost. This will make it a whole lot easier."
Foster won the last top prize in the lottery's Win It All promotion, which was scheduled to end in November. Money raised by the lottery supports North Carolina's educational programs.