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Who is Timothy Unsell? North Carolina man, 79, wins $100k lottery with just a $30 scratch-off ticket

Timothy Unsell, 79, cashed out his prize money on July 28, taking home $71,019 after taxes. He said the money would go towards his retirement fund
UPDATED JUL 30, 2022
North Carolina man Timothy Unsell won $100,000 from a mere $30 ticket (Credit: NC Education Lottery/Twitter)
North Carolina man Timothy Unsell won $100,000 from a mere $30 ticket (Credit: NC Education Lottery/Twitter)

When North Carolina lottery winner Timothy Unsell won $100,000 from a $30 ticket, he couldn't contain his joy. He went back into the store from where he bought the ticket and gave the store clerk a big hug. “She told me, ‘I’m glad it was you who won,’” Unsell said. “She knows me very well.”

Unsell had previously won $400 on a $30 ticket. “I don’t usually buy the $30 tickets but after winning $400 I thought, “Why not? This is the biggest win I’ve ever had,” Unsell told lottery officials.


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Unsell cashed out his prize money on July 28, taking home $71,019, after taxes. He says the money will go toward his successful retirement. He had purchased the Fabulous Fortune lottery ticket at a Time Saver outlet on West Blue Ridge Road in East Flat Rock, about 25 miles south of Asheville. “This is the biggest win I’ve ever had,” said the winner. “It will definitely help make our retirement a little easier.”


There are bigger lottery prizes at stake in the United States, such as the Mega Millions and the Powerball. However, most of them have a much bigger ticket price compared to the one won by Unsell and have a much bigger history and a bigger prize because of the length of the contest. Fabulous Fortune was incorporated only recently in July 2022, offering six $3 million prizes and 18 $100,000 prizes. Until now, only four of the $100,000 prizes have been claimed.

Interestingly, while winning a lottery might sound like a joyous occasion for most people, but for many winners, it has led to their doom. Trouble or death has dogged those who have spent the prize money injudciously or have hidden enemies.

From getting shot by their sister-in-law and being buried to having to split the earnings due to a divorce settlement to losing it all because of gambling or addiction, jackpot winners have faced a lot of trouble in the past after their respective wins. Post these bizarre events, people have either started avoiding jackpots or have made sure they remain anonymous so as to avoid trouble.

In 1996, Jeffrey Dampier won $20 million after playing the Illinois lottery. Nine years later, he was kidnapped and shot dead. Dampier was supposedly cheating on his wife Crystal by having an affair with Crystal's sister Victoria. As per reports, Victoria was the one who pulled the trigger and killed Dampier. His wife Crystal said, "It's a curse," while talking about the lottery.

The Mega Millions jackpot prize has increased to a whopping $1.28 Billion and no lucky winner has claimed the prize yet. It is the second-largest jackpot in the game's 20-year history and the third-largest of any US lottery game. The lump-sum payout for Friday’s jackpot on July 29 was estimated to be $747.2 million, according to Mega Millions. Interestingly, the biggest ever Mega Millions jackpot was an eye-watering $1.537 billion from South Carolina in 2018 and the winner chose to stay anonymous.