They say lightning never strikes twice, but Kimberly Morris of Wake Forest, North Carolina may be the exception to the rule.
On Monday, the mother of three bought a $4,000,000 Diamond Dazzler ticket from a Harris Teeter supermarket. To her surprise, she won $10,000. Morris quickly drove to the North Carolina Education Lottery headquarters in Raleigh to claim her prize.
"I was shocked," she told the North Carolina Education Lottery. "It felt really great to win, but I really have always dreamed I would win $1 million!"
As she drove home to Wake Forest, Morris decided to try her luck once more. She stopped at a Quality Food Mart in Raleigh to buy a second $4,000,000 Diamond Dazzler ticket and became the first person to win a $1 million dollar prize from the $20 scratch-off game.
The first thing that Morris did was call her husband, John. "She was freaking out on the phone," he recalled. "I couldn't understand her, so I told her to slow down. When I realized what she was saying, I didn't believe her at first. I had to come home and see it for myself."
Morris returned to the lottery headquarters in Raleigh to claim her second prize. She was given the choice between receiving a $1 million annuity in 20 payments of $50,000 a year, or a lump sum of $600,000.
Nick Holeman, certified financial planner at Betterment tells CNBC Make It that the annuity is usually the wise choice. "If you get a huge lump sum, it's easier to make a mistake, whereas if you choose the annuity, then at least if you mess up and blow the first year's worth, you have another chance," he says.
Like many lottery winners before her, Morris ignored this advice and chose to receive the lump sum, which came out to be $417,012 after taxes.
Morris tells the lottery that she plans to invest the money and share it with her children.
This may not be such a bad idea, according to CNBC's Jim Cramer. "Take the money all at once," the "Mad Money" host says. "Don't let them string it out like that. You want the time value of all that cash working for you. That's vital."
No matter how Morris spends her winnings, she has much to celebrate. "I wasn't really expecting much," she says. "I just enjoy playing the lottery."
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