Ask SAM added to shell 110518

Q: I read recently about someone winning a lottery prize of $25,000 a year for life, and giving it to his granddaughter. Whose “for life” would apply, the grandfather or the granddaughter?


Answer: In the situation you are referring to, Mooresville resident Peter Beckage gave the winning lottery ticket to his granddaughter, Kelly Thomas, a student at UNC-Wilmington. Since she was the one to claim the ticket, she receives the prize, which means it is for her life. She had the option of taking a lump sum of $390,000, but chose the annuity instead, and took home $17,688 after federal and state tax withholdings for her first year.

Van Denton, the director of communications for the N.C. Education Lottery, said that North Carolina is one of 26 lotteries that offer the “Lucky For Life” game. The top prize is $1,000 day for life, and the second prize is $25,000 a year. Winners in both cases can choose a cash option. The prize goes to the winner themselves. However, “If a winner were to die, the prize pays his or her estate for a minimum of 20 years,” Denton said.

To win the top prize, he said, you must match all six of the numbers in the drawing, beating odds of 1 in 30 million. To win the second prize, you must match five of the numbers, beating odds of 1 in 813,000. There are also eight other ways to win smaller prizes.

Since North Carolina joined the game in 2016, two North Carolinians have won $1,000 a Day for Life and 21 have won $25,000 a Year for Life, Denton said.

Publishers Clearing House also has “for life” prize options for many of its drawings, but also a “forever” prize for some, which means that the winner gets the prize money and after they die, it goes on to a beneficiary, be it a child, sibling, friend, charity, or whatever they choose.

Q: In light of the recent incidents of children bringing guns to school, are the parents held criminally responsible when their child brings a firearm to school?


Answer: “Parents or guardians can be held criminally responsible if a juvenile possesses a firearm obtained from the residence and was not adequately secured,” said Lt. Brian Dobey with the Winston-Salem Police Department. This is outlined in General Statute 14-315.1 -Storage of Firearms to Protect Minors.

Additionally, he said, parents, guardians or other adults can be charged if they have knowledge a juvenile possesses a firearm and cause, aid or encourage the minor less than 18 years old to possess or carry it on any educational property as outlined in NCGS 14-269.2 ©


“Mother’s Day, I stopped at K&W on Peters Creek Parkway to get lunch for my husband and myself. I let a lady get ahead of me in the takeout line. When I went to pay for our food, the cashier informed me the lady I had been talking to paid for our lunch. She had come in just to get 6 yeast rolls. It would mean so much to me if you would print this. She is an angel.” — L.K.



Write: Ask SAM, 418 N. Marshall St., Winston-Salem, NC 27101 

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