Man scratches lofty $500K prize in West Point

WEST POINT, GA (WTVM) - A lucky Valley, Ala., man has hit a half-million dollar prize playing the Georgia Lottery.

James Barber, 50, played the instant game 20X The Money – Holiday Edition and won a $500,000 top prize.

West Point Stop & Go, 403 Third Ave. in West Point, sold the winning ticket.

"I just went in to play Cash 3, and I usually buy a couple of instant tickets," Barber said. "I scratched the ticket in my truck."

In disbelief, the lucky winner showed his windfall to the store's clerks.

"I thought I was going to have a heart attack," he said. "I was excited, and I had to look several times because there were so many zeros."

The father of three, who works for an automotive distributor, intends to financially help his parents and pay off his home mortgage.

Since its first year, the Georgia Lottery Corp. has returned more than $14.8 billion to the state of Georgia for education. All Georgia Lottery profits go to pay for specific educational programs, including Georgia's HOPE Scholarship Program and Georgia's Pre-K Program. More than 1.6 million students have received HOPE, and more than 1.3 million 4-year-olds have attended the statewide, voluntary prekindergarten program.

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