North Carolina man accidentally wins lottery twice after buying identical tickets

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A North Carolina man wasn’t sure if he had bought a ticket in the state’s Lucky for Life lottery drawing, so he filled out the online form.

“I was just laying in bed watching a basketball game on TV and I couldn’t remember if I filled it out or not,” said Scotty Thomas, 49, from Fayetteville, according to the North Carolina Education Lottery.

“I went ahead and filled it out again and the next morning my son asked why there were two different amounts listed. I realised, ‘I think I filled it out twice.’”

It turned out he had won $25,000 each year for life with each ticket in the November 27 drawing. That prize is the Lucky for Life’s drawing second-biggest prize, behind a $1,000 a day for life payout, according to the lottery.

“When I realized I won, I had to lay down on the floor because I really just couldn’t believe it,” Thomas said. “It’s just a blessing.”

A file image of a lottery ticket. Credit: Getty Images

Thomas, a dump truck operator, opted for a lump sum of $US780,000 ($A1.13m) for both tickets instead of annual payments, according to the lottery, saying he wanted to invest in his business, pay off bills, help his family and perhaps buy a house.

After taxes, he netted $US551,851 ($A787,000), the lottery said.

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