A Clay City man is the winner of $500,000, the top prize on a scratch-off ticket from the Hoosier Lottery, according to a news release.

Jackie Smith told officials at the Hoosier Lottery headquarters on Wednesday that when he scratched the “Winning Streak” scratch-off game, revealing his prize, he thought, “This can’t be happening to me.”

Smith, a retired railroad conductor, bought the lucky ticket July 4 in Beverage Place at 601 Main St. in Clay City, according to a Hoosier Lotto news release.

Because almost everyone in the close-knit community of Clay City knew about Smith’s good fortune, he decided to put his signed ticket in a locked box until things calmed down, according to the release.

Smith finally went to the Hoosier Lottery headquarters in Indianapolis on Wednesday to redeem the game’s top prize.

Smith told lottery officials that he planned to use his winnings to buy a new truck. He planned to invest the rest.

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