via James LeVeque / Flickr

As the old quote goes, "Life is like a ferris wheel. Sometimes you're up, sometimes you're down. In the end, you just have to learn to enjoy the ride."

Nobody knows that better than Ronnie Foster, a retired Department of Transportation worker in North Carolina.

Foster was en route to his final chemotherapy treatment for colon cancer at a local hospital when he stopped by a Short Stop convenience store Beulaville. He won $5 off of a $1 scratcher and decided to double-down and get two more tickets with his winnings.


The second of the two tickets was a $200,000 winner. But he didn't believe it until he handed it to the store clerk to verify the ticket through the scanner.

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"I saw all those zeroes and I froze," Foster said in a statement. "When it showed, 'Go to lottery headquarters,' I started shaking. I couldn't believe it."

For Foster, the winnings served to make a great day even better.

"I was already happy because it was my last round of chemo," Foster told officials from the NC Lottery. "Winning this made it my lucky day."

After state and federal tax withholdings, he's taking home $141,501. He says that he'll use some of it to pay for his medical expenses and the rest will go into savings.

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"I have good insurance," Foster said. "But there is still some cost. This will make it a whole lot easier.

According to the North Carolina Education Lottery's website, it raised more than $700 million last year for education.

Life is strange in strange in that some unfortunate events can lead to fortunate happenings. If Foster didn't have cancer, he most likely wouldn't have stopped off at the liquor store at that exact moment and bought a lottery ticket.

It's a great lesson on keeping optimistic, even in the worst of times, because every day is an opportunity for something truly magical to happen.