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19-year-old best friends win $3 million from scratch-off lottery ticket

Two best friends in Tennessee just became a lot richer after splitting a $30 lottery ticket.
Wyatt Close, 19, and Brandon Thompson, 19, split a $30 lottery ticket at the QuikTrip in Lebanon on Oct. 1 after stopping for gas on their ride to work, and it hit for $3 million.
Wyatt Close, 19, and Brandon Thompson, 19, split a $30 lottery ticket at the QuikTrip in Lebanon on Oct. 1 after stopping for gas on their ride to work, and it hit for $3 million. Courtesy Tennessee Lottery

A pair of best friends in their teens turned a quick trip to a Tennessee convenience store into the payday of a lifetime.

Wyatt Close, 19, and Brandon Thompson, 19, split a $30 lottery ticket at the QuikTrip in Lebanon on Oct. 1 after stopping for gas on their ride to work, and it hit for $3 million.

The two friends bought a pair of Jumbo Bucks Titanium instant tickets, scratched off the first one to see it lost, and then were in shock when they scratched off the second one.

Winner Wyatt Close, Tennessee Lottery President and CEO Rebecca Paul Hargrove, and winner Brandon Thompson show off the $3 million check they took home for a $30 scratch-off lottery ticket.Courtesy Tennessee Lottery

“I saw those black bold numbers and just started jumping," Thompson told local Scripps station WTVF.

Close has been a regular buyer of lottery tickets, but told WTVF that was only about the fourth ticket Thompson had ever bought.

“I was just jumping up and down he was excited as well. I don’t know it was just a feeling like I never felt before,” Close said.

The friends plan to invest the money, with Close hoping to buy a home with it in the future.

"It’s always exciting to see our players win such life-changing prizes," Tennessee Lottery president and CEO Rebecca Paul Hargrove told TODAY in a statement. "But the biggest winners are the Tennessee students who have received more than 1.6 million scholarships and grants funded by the Tennessee Lottery."

Friends Frances Davenport (left) and Janis Goodwin split a $1 million prize in 2005 while playing the Tennessee Lottery.Courtesy Tennessee Lottery

Close and Thompson are not the first tandem of friends to take home a big prize in the Tennessee Lottery. Janis Goodwin and Frances Davenport split a $1 million Powerball prize in 2005 that they won while vacationing together in Gatlinburg.

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