17 Nov Luck In a Name? Woman Wins $1 Million Lottery Scratch-Off From City of Her Own Surname
Generally speaking, people like things that are familiar to them. That must certainly be the case now for a woman named Latia Gaston and the nearby city of Gastonia, North Carolina. Gaston, from Charlotte, NC, bought a new scratch-off lottery ticket from the Kangaroo Express convenience store in Gastonia on Nov. 3 that wound up netting her $1 million in lottery payments, according to the Gastonia news source GastonGazette.com.
Gaston bought the $10 “Holiday Gold” ticket, which was just released that day for the first time, on the encouragement from her mother, Josetta Gaston.
“I heard the ‘First Tuesday’ song in my head,” Josetta Gaston told lottery officials. “I said, ‘Get the new $10 ticket.’”
Fortunately, Latia heeded her mother’s advice and bought the ticket. It was Josetta who actually scratched it off and revealed the winnings though.
“Do you see this?” Josetta yelled to her daughter. “’I think you really did win – it’s real!’”
Latia had the choice between lump sum versus annuity settlement-style payments, but she decided to take the immediate lump sum lottery payout. Most jackpot lotteries give the winner these options. For example, the Mega Millions can be taken in a lump sum, or spread out over 30 annuity lottery payments (one immediate) that grow by 5% annually.
Of course she did not get the entire $1 million in lottery payments after it was claimed, as the federal government withholds up to 25% of lottery jackpot winnings. By taking the lump sum she received $600,000, which actually ended up being $415,503 after state and federal taxes. If she had taken the annuity-style payments she would have gotten 20 annual payments of $50,000, before taxes.
Latia told lottery officials she plans on using some of the money to invest in her hairdressing business, meaning she’ll be part of the 48% of lottery winners that still work after doing so. The family also wants to continue doing more of the charity giving they already typically do over the holiday season.
“We always help those in need for the holidays, with gifts for kids and food for families,” Josetta Gaston said.