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Nurse who works in COVID-19 unit wins $1 million in North Carolina lottery

"Just seeing some of the things that I’ve had to see, I am very thankful," Terri Watkins said.
/ Source: NBC News

A North Carolina nurse who works in the COVID-19 unit at a long-term care facility received a welcome surprise when she won $1 million in the state lottery.

The nurse, Terri Watkins, had entered the $300,000,000 Supreme Riches second-chance drawing but didn't think she would actually win.

When the state Education Lottery called to congratulate her, Watkins said she was shocked.

“I thought that it was a scam. I was a little upset actually! I thought that it was not real, couldn’t be real. It’s still something that I really don’t believe, I’m still in some shock here," she said, according to a press release.

Watkins, of Durham, did not return a phone call by NBC News on Wednesday.

Her name was chosen from over 513,000 entries. Watkins had the option to take $424,500 cash — the amount the winner gets after taxes — or receive 20 payments of $50,000 a year.

She chose to take home the cash, and collected her prize on Thursday.

“I’m a nurse and I work in the COVID unit at a long-term care facility. Just seeing some of the things that I’ve had to see, I am very thankful," she said. "I had been praying for something to help me with this situation. It really is a great thing. I’m very blessed.”

As of now, Watkins said she is still considering how she'll spend the money. She said a new home would be nice, but she wants to "take time and put it in the right place.”

“I’m just gonna take it slow and easy and figure out what I’m gonna do,” she said.

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