NC Lottery Winner Crashes Helicopter He Bought, Survives

One man in North Carolina is pushing his luck.After becoming one of the lucky few to score big in [...]

One man in North Carolina is pushing his luck.

After becoming one of the lucky few to score big in the lottery, North Carolina resident Timothy Kniess, 56, of Iron Station added another rarity to his list: surviving a helicopter crash with just minor injuries.

According to the Gaston Gazette, Kneiss had been attempting to hover his single-seat Mosquito Aviation XE helicopter on the morning of Wednesday, May, 2, when it is believed that the tail rotor hit a tree at around 10:40 a.m., sending the aircraft crashing to the ground before bursting into flames. Kneiss managed to crawl out of the helicopter before the flames spread, suffering only minor scrapes and bruises.

Firefighters arrived to the scene shortly after the crash and put out the flames, though the helicopter was a complete loss.

"We have the understanding he was just attempting to hover and that's when the crash occurred," Highway Patrol Trooper Jeffrey Swagger told the publication. "The pilot was very fortunate that he did not receive injuries more severe than he did."

Kneiss' first taste of extreme luck came in October when he won $100,000 in the North Carolina Education Lottery, a win that he credited his wife for, stating in a lottery press release that "When my wife scratches a ticket, she always wins something. I just buy them for her."

Of the $100,000 winnings, the couple took home $69,504 after state and federal tax withholdings. He used some of that money to buy the helicopter just weeks ago, which is valued between $32,000 and $34,000.

For those hoping to have a taste of Kneiss' luck, albeit only the lottery winning portion of it, recent lottery jackpots have skyrocketed, with some reaching close to $1 billion, some of the largest jackpots coming from Mega Millions.

So how can you get in on all this money? Well it turns out playing the lottery is a lot easier than it seems.

Every Mega Millions lottery ticket costs $2 each, and can be bought at various gas stations and convenience stores across the country. When a player purchases a ticket, they pick six numbers from two separate pools of numbers — five numbers are selected between one and 70 and one number, the Mega Ball, is selected from one to 25. If your six numbers match every number selected in the drawing, you win the jackpot.

However, if you do not match every number, there are still ways to walk away with some prize money. If your number matches the Mega Ball in the drawing, you automatically win two dollars. If you match one number and the Mega Ball, you win four dollars, two numbers and a Mega Ball gets you $10, three numbers and the Mega Ball earns you $200 and four and the Mega Ball gets you $10,000.

If you select three matching numbers from the one to 70 pool, you win $10. Four matching numbers wins you $500 and five matching numbers earns you a cool $1 million dollars. That's a pretty sweet deal for only having to pay two dollars for a ticket.