A North Carolina teenager’s dream of beating the odds and winning the lottery recently came true for him.
Dalton Radford was on his way to his second job on Dec. 2 when he decided to stop at Will’s Food Store III in Dallas, N.C.
“I left work and was going to my second job. I stopped for a White Monster drink and two Carolina Jackpot tickets,” the 18-year-old told the NC Education Lottery.
When Radford checked his scratch-off tickets, he was thrilled to discover he had just won $1 million, according to Fox Business.
“I thought, ‘Hey! I just won a million dollars!” Radford said. “I called my mom, dad, and grandpa. Everyone was happy.”
Radford found the timing of this especially interesting because of something his grandfather had told him just prior to his purchase.
“He said I would win $1 million two weeks ago,” Radford told lottery officials.
Dalton Radford of #Dallas can upgrade his ride after winning a $1 million prize! His $10 Carolina Jackpot ticket was from Will’s Food Store III on Dallas High Shoals Highway. “I think I’ll buy a brand-new Silverado,” said Radford. Congrats! #NCLottery https://t.co/1Sb5rFuLYU pic.twitter.com/VpPswEGbaU
— NC Education Lottery (@nclottery) December 7, 2022
The only problem for him in this scenario — and it’s a nice one to have — was that he needed to decide which of two prize payout options he preferred.
If he took annuity payments, he’d receive $50,000 over 20 years. If he chose a lump-sum payment, he’d receive $600,000.
The teen decided on the lump sum, which meant that his take-home winnings amounted to only $426,063 after taxes.
Radford, who is a public works employee, said his first purchase was going to be a brand-new Silverado pickup truck, according to Gaston Gazette.
While Radford’s story is definitely exciting, the odds of actually winning a massive lottery jackpot, such as a Powerball drawing, are approximately 1 in 292 million, according to CNBC.
And it’s important to note that just because a person buys lottery tickets every day or every week doesn’t mean their chances of winning are improved, because the odds of each lottery are independent, Harvard statistics professor Dr. Mark Glickman told CNBC.
Dr. Lew Lefton, a faculty member at Georgia Tech’s School of Mathematics told CNBC that when people play the lottery, they shouldn’t expect to win.
He added that “It can be fun to play the lottery and imagine you will win. That’s a different approach, and it’s just like any other gambling: You should only be willing to spend what you can afford to lose.”
And past history indicates that 70 percent of lottery winners are broke again within five years, no matter how much they win, due to poor money-management skills, according to KXLY-TV.
That being said, about 8 percent of Americans play the lottery in an attempt to get out of debt, according to NY Sports Day.
Sadly, a little over half of all Americans — 51 percent — are living paycheck to paycheck.
In addition, nearly half of all Americans, or 42 percent, wouldn’t be able to cover an unexpected $1,000 expense.
Only a few Americans, about 1 in 10, believe they’ll be able to retire at age 60, and just 1 in 5 Americans think they will be able to retire at age 65.
That being said, close to half of American families don’t have any retirement savings at all, according to The Guardian.
A few helpful things to consider as a person nears retirement are to set a goal for personal retirement savings, work toward getting out of debt and invest a portion of present earnings in a 401(k) and Roth IRA, among several other tips, according to Ramsey Solutions.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.