A lottery winner from North Carolina reportedly almost threw away his lucky $277,086 winning ticket thinking it was a dud.

John Cornwell, a 70-year-old machine designer, who had bought the $1 Cash 5 ticket for the Dec. 30 drawing, nearly discarded his winning lottery ticket in the trash thinking it was just another bad stub, WCNC reported.

“I checked the ticket and there was a message about going to the lottery office,” Cornwell said. “I almost threw it away. I thought it was just a bad ticket.”

However, before throwing away the ticket, Cornwell asked the store clerk at the Waco Stop & Shop on Cherryville Road in Waco to scan his quick-pick ticket again for him. When the store clerk scanned the stub, Cornwell realized that he had won the jackpot.

"He said 'I think you won the big one,'" Cornwell said. "I waited until I got home and screamed out loud to my wife that I won."

Even Cornwell's wife thought that he had made up the win and did not believe him at first.

"She thought I made it up," Cornwell said. "I told her, ‘Baby, it’s legit.’ She still can’t believe it."

Cornwell arrived at the lottery headquarters on Thursday, Jan. 6, and collected a prize amount of $196,759 after federal and state tax withholdings.

When asked about what he plans to do with the prize money, Cornwell said that he wants to take his wife on a vacation and pay off a new car that he had bought for her.

In a similar but unrelated incident, a Southeast Texas man recently purchased a Casino Millions Texas Lottery scratch-off ticket worth $5 million at the J & R Meat Market, a Valero gas station, along Highway 326 in Sour Lake.

Store employees who sold the ticket to the winner said that they have no idea about the man's identity or his whereabouts. However, they said that they are happy to learn that the winner was someone from Southeast Texas, 12 News reported.

Similarly, an Ocala man named John McTiernan, reportedly won $2 million while playing the 50-times crossword scratch-off game that he bought from the Metro Food Mart on Northeast 7th Street in Ocala, WCJB TV20 News reported.

Florida Lottery
The Mega Millions jackpot has risen to a staggering $102 million after no one won the grand prize during the drawing held on Friday, Feb. 25. This is a representational image. Jeffrey Greenberg/Getty Images

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