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South Carolina Dad Buys Lottery Ticket on Lunch Break & Wins $10 Million

Claudine Varela
May 30, 2019
11:27 A.M.

A man who bought a lottery ticket during his lunch gets the shock of his life when he won the top prize of $10 million. He was speechless, according to his wife when he rushed home to tell her.

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A regular lunch break for a dad from South Carolina turned into a life-changing moment.

James Belich stopped by a convenience store during his lunch break and he became an instant millionaire.

A LUCKY LUNCH BREAK

Belich, who works as a logistics manager in Charlotte couldn’t believe his luck when a lottery ticket he bought at Cigarettes & More on Pineville-Matthews Road held the top prize of $10 million.

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“He was so shocked...All he could do was hold the ticket up in front of my face.”

The odds of winning in the $300,000,000 Supreme Riches scratch-off game was one in 3.2 million according to the North Carolina Education Lottery and for Belich, winning was a shock.

“You’ll never expect it,” he told lottery officials at the Raleigh lottery headquarters when he saw them to claim his prize.

“You think maybe you’ll win something, but not $10 million. It’s unbelievable.”

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THE SHOCK OF WINNING

Belich recalled thinking of his family first when he realized he had won. He went home to tell his wife, Emily, but found himself speechless.

“He was so shocked,” Emily said, describing her husband when he arrived at their door. “All he could do was hold the ticket up in front of my face.”

And while the news was big for the couple, their children were too young to absorb it. According to Emily, their five-year-old son thought his father won $20.

"...this prize will create a brighter future for our kids. That’s what’s important. It’s awesome, just a blessing.”

When Belich finally found the means to speak, he called his mother who raised him and his three brothers alone. He told lottery officials,

“My mom was a single mom. We’re all really, really close. It’s important for me to share this win with them. When I told her, we both just cried.”

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HOW HE INTENDS TO MANAGE HIS MONEY

Belich was given an option to claim his win in increments of $500,000 annually for 20 years or take home a lump sum of $6 million. He opted for the latter and was awarded around $4.2 million after taxes.

Though it is a huge amount of money, Belich, who lives in Lancaster, South Carolina doesn’t intend to make big lifestyle changes. Instead, he plans to use his winnings to pay their bills and invest.

“We like where we live, it’s great to raise a family. We may buy a few extra rounds for folks when we go out, but this prize will create a brighter future for our kids. That’s what’s important. It’s awesome, just a blessing.”

Belich is reportedly the first to win the top prize since the lottery began operations in April. A $10,000 incentive was also awarded to Cigarettes & More for selling the ticket to him.

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A LOTTERY TICKET TO JAIL

Meanwhile, a man who claimed to have won another lottery didn’t get the happy ending he expected. Instead, he was arrested for theft. The man apparently stole the winning ticket from his roommate.

The man heard about his roommate’s winning ticket and decided to replace it with his losing lottery ticket. When the roommate tried to claim his winnings, he discovered the ticket he was holding wasn’t his.

Having learned about the stolen ticket and with the help of surveillance footage, authorities arrested the man when he showed up to claim the money. What would have been a $10 million payout turned out to be a trip to jail.

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