Raleigh woman wins a top lottery prize

From staff reportsSeptember 27, 2012 

— The N.C. Education lottery scratch-off game offers three top prizes of $5,000 a week for life, but the first big winner opted for a lump sum of more than 2 million dollars.

Raleigh resident Maha Natour and her husband purchased the winning $10 ticket Thursday when they stopped for gas at the North Hills Exxon on Six Forks Road.

“I was so excited and nervous,” Natour said. “I can’t believe it’s true. I know that it’s real, but it hasn’t sunk in yet.”

The top prize is structured to be paid out in annual payments for at least 20 years of to a winner or designated estate. Top prize winners can also choose to claim their winnings as a lump sum with a cash value equal to the guaranteed prize amount.

Natour chose the lump sum option, which amounted to $2,404,483 after state and federal taxes were withheld.

She said that she plans to purchase a new home with her winnings.

As of Thursday afternoon, two top prizes of $5,000 a week for life remain unclaimed in the game.

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