(CNN) — We can all agree that health care workers on the front lines of the Covid-19 pandemic deserve all the good things in life.
One North Carolina nurse now has the pocket change to treat herself to at least some of them.
Terri Watkins works in the Covid unit at a long term facility in Durham. And she just won a $1 million jackpot, the North Carolina Education Lottery said this week.
“Just seeing some of the things that I’ve had to see, I am very thankful,” she told the lottery. “I had been praying for something to help me with this situation. It really is a great thing. I’m very blessed.”
It’s a rough time to be a Covid unit nurse as the pandemic rages uncontrollably. Many are working grueling hours, and isolating themselves away from their families.
So, when the lottery called her with the news, she had a hard time believing her good fortune.
“You’re telling a story, I don’t believe you,” Watkins said in a recording of the call the lottery released.
Then, when the reality sank in, Watkins exclaimed, “Oh my God! Oh my God!”
“It’s still something that I really don’t believe, I’m still in some shock here,” she later said.
Given the option to take the $1 million prize as 20 annual payments of $50,000 or a lump sum of $600,000, Watkins chose the latter. She will take home $424,500 after required state and federal tax withholdings.
Watkins said she would love a new home — but she’ll take it “slow and easy” to figure out what to do with the money.
“I’ve just got to take time and put it in the right place,” she said.
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