‘I fell to my knees at the gas pump’: Laid-off preschool teacher wins $250K lottery prize

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — After a difficult few months, Joe Camp hit a stroke of good luck to the tune of a $250,000 lottery prize.

Camp was a preschool teacher for 20 years and was laid off in September. A month later, his father died.

“It put me in a dark place. But I have a lot of friends and family that just told me to keep sticking in there, keep believing in myself,” he said.

Camp purchased his winning Gold Rush ticket from the Coulwood BP on Belhaven Boulevard in Charlotte.

He said he buys a scratch-off ticket every Thursday morning. This time he bought two.

“I didn’t win on the first one, so I tried the second and I scratched it off, and I fell to my knees at the gas pump,” he said.

Camp claimed his prize Monday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh. After required federal and state tax withholdings, he took home $176,876.

“What I plan on doing with my winnings is having a future for my daughter,” he said.

His plans include a new home for himself and his daughter and saving for her education.

“I want to get a home because I want to set it up for my family, my grandkids,” he said. “I want to have something for us. I never had anything, no one passed anything down, and that’s what I want to do.”

Camp also recently found employment at a car dealership auto sales center.