Chatham County mail carrier wins $1 million lottery scratch-off prize

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) -- A Chatham County mail carrier won a $1 million prize in the North Carolina Education Lottery over the weekend.

Irene Tillman has been a mail carrier for Route 24 in Chatham County for more than 10 years, lottery officials said.

On Saturday, she bought a $30 Ultimate Millions scratch-off ticket at the Shalom Gas and Cash Mart in Goldston.

The scratch-off ticket had the number 24, which is also the number of her mail route.

"When I saw it I thought, 'This really is meant to be'," Tillman told lottery officials.

Tillman was stunned when she realized she won $1 million.

"It's unreal," Tillman said. "I was so excited, I had to go back into the store and sit down."

Tillman claimed her lump sum prize of $417,015, which is the amount after taxes.

She wants to use the money to pay bills and get another clothes washer and dryer in her home.

Tillman had the choice of taking a $1 million annuity that has 20 payments of $50,000 a year or a lump sum of $600,000.

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