01/06/12 — Scratching pays off for lottery winner

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Scratching pays off for lottery winner

By Kelly Corbett
Published in News on January 6, 2012 1:46 PM

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Allison Carter

Richard Daveler talks Thursday at the Arrington Mart about winning $1 million on an instant lottery ticket. Daveler, who stops at at least four different places to purchase lottery tickets, is an avid lottery player who estimates he has spent about $5,000 on tickets. He plans to buy himself a new car and take a trip to Disney World with his family.

Wayne County resident Richard Daveler isn't in trouble anymore for making stops at four or five gas stations to buy lottery tickets every day after work.

Not since one of those tickets won his family $1 million.

"The wife gets mad at me, because I come home three or four hours late," Daveler said.

On Tuesday, at the Arrington Mart in Dudley, all of his hard work scratching tickets paid off, with an instant $1 million reward.

"Well, first of all, I didn't believe it," he said. "The cashier was more excited than I was."

Daveler has been a maintenance supervisor at Butterball since 1996 and plans to continue working at the factory. He also is retired from the Air Force.

He said he doesn't have any big plans for his winnings other than the usual -- paying off bills, buying a new car.

But he hopes to make one special trip possible for his wife, Yoko.

"And maybe take my wife to Disney World," he said.

Daveler said last time he took his family, Yoko and his son, James, to Orlando, Fla., was 13 years ago. And that time, they only went to Busch Gardens.

On Tuesday afternoon, he received his first check totaling $34,003 after taxes. He will continue to receive $50,000 per year for 20 years.

He said in the past he has won $500 and $1,000 prizes. The day he won, he scratched off four tickets.

But finding a winner is not a cheap proposition.

"I spend in the neighborhood of $150 to $200 ... sometimes a day," he said.

Daveler said he started playing the lottery back in 1975 or 1976 and has spent $5,000 to $6,000 on lottery tickets.

He is the second person in Wayne County to receive $1 million from the lottery and the eighth player to win the top prize for the Cash Spectacular since its launch in January 2010.

"This is the biggest instant win we've had in Wayne County," said Van Denton, corporate communications director for the North Carolina Education Lottery.

The Cash Spectacular game has generated more than $24 million for education in the state, specifically used for pre-kindergarten programs, reduction of class sizes for early grades, school construction and need-based college scholarships.