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Cousins plan to split $50,000 winnings from lottery game

By Steve Huffman
Salisbury Post
SPENCER ó David Basinger was stocking the cooler Saturday at Real’s Varieties when he heard his co-worker and cousin, Austin Potts, let out a yell.
“I thought someone got him,” Basinger said, laughing.
No one had gotten Potts, but he’d gotten something just about anyone would want ó a $50,000 payout from the N.C. Education Lottery.
Potts, 20, who graduated from Salisbury High in 2006, won playing the lottery’s Cash Spectacular game. It’s one of the lottery’s pricier competitions, costing $10 to play.
In the game, players scratch with a coin six blanks across the top of the card. Each scratch reveals a cash amount. Below those upper blanks are a series of boxes.
Players scratch clear those lower boxes, as well. If the number in any of the lower boxes matches those from above, the player wins that amount.
Potts uncovered $50,000 in both sections, making him a big-dollar winner.
It was the largest lottery payout ever at Real’s Varieties, located on North Salisbury Avenue.
Basinger, 40, had given $5 toward the card’s purchase, and he and Potts agreed they’d split whatever they won.
Basinger and Potts traveled Monday to the lottery’s offices in Greensboro to cash in their ticket. After taxes, the payout was $34,000, meaning both men got $17,000.
Not enough on which to retire, that’s true, but not a bad day’s work.
Both Basinger and Potts work at Real’s Varieties, which is owned by Basinger’s mother, Pam Lloyd.
To their credit, even after seeing their net worth increase dramatically, both men finished their work shifts.
“Mama would have kicked my butt if I’d left,” Basinger joked.
Neither Basinger nor Potts has major plans for spending their money. Potts dropped out of Appalachian State and is currently enrolled at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.
He plans to return to Appalachian this fall, and said he’ll use his proceeds to help pay for his schooling.
Potts, a quiet sort with a big smile, is the son of Jimmy Potts and the late Tammy Potts. He lives with his grandmother, Sara Potts.
Both Basinger and Potts said there’s nothing wrong with a convenience store worker selling himself a lottery ticket, though some of the larger chain stores have ordinances against employees doing so.
“There’s no way you can cheat,” Basinger said. “You have to pay for the ticket. It’s not like you can scratch it and see if you’ve won and then put it back.”
Basinger laughed that Potts showed more restraint than he’d have managed had he won the lottery when he was 20.
“I’d have been on a plane out of here,” he said.
Contact Steve Huffman at 704-797-4222 or shuffman@salisburypost.com.

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