A retired Shelby fireman’s good deed led him to win $4 million with a scratch-off lottery ticket on Sunday, according to an NC Education Lottery press release.

Kenneth Crews, who retired after 32 years as a fireman, said he often gives a friend who doesn’t drive a ride to work. He usually turns down money for the ride but because of the rainy weather his friend insisted he take $60 for the help.

“He said, ‘Please, put it on a scratch-off, you might hit something today,’” Crews said via the release.

On the way home, Crews stopped by the Southern Store on South Lafayette Street in Shelby, and bought three $20 Ruby Red 7s scratch-off tickets. He found no prize on one ticket, a $30 prize on a second and $4 million on the third, according to the release.

“Perfect timing and luck,” Crews said as he collected his prize at lottery headquarters on Monday. “Very exciting. I call it my three-year retirement payout. I retired three years ago.”

Crews had a choice of taking the prize as a 20-year annuity, getting $200,000 a year, or taking a lump sum of $2.4 million. He chose the lump sum and after state taxes and took home $1,698,006, according to the release.

He said he planned to use the money to build a new retirement home and help family members pay bills.

The Ruby Red 7s game started in January with four top prizes of $4 million. Two of those prizes remain to be claimed. For details on how lottery funds have made a difference in all of North Carolina’s 100 counties, click on the “Impact” section of the lottery’s website, nclottery.com.

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