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A Kentucky man is out of debt for the first time in his life after winning $150,000 in the lottery

CNN  —  A life-changing grocery store run has erased one Kentucky man’s debts. While he was checking out on February 9 at a store in Louisville, Charles Stallard decided to add one more item to his shopping cart: a lottery ticket that can pay fifty times the cash amount that’s revealed. Stallard scratched off the $5 ticket in his truck, revealing a “50x” symbol – meaning the listed winning prize on his ticket would get multiplied by 50. While this typically signals good news for lottery players, it didn’t initially excite Stallard. “I figured it was going to be $5,” he said, according to a news release from the Kentucky Lottery. But the number printed on the ticket was much bigger than that. “When I scratched off $3,000, I actually started crying,” Stallard told lottery officials. “I couldn’t believe it!” He had won the lottery game’s grand prize. Stallard won $150,000 that Friday afternoon, and held onto the winning ticket for the next three days. “I didn’t get much sleep all weekend,” he said. When he redeemed the ticket the following Monday, Stallard walked away $108,000 richer after taxes. Stallard’s plan is to pay off his house, he told lottery officials. “For the first time in my life, I’m not in debt,” he said. And once Stallard is officially debt-free, he knows how the remainder of 2024 will go for him. “I’m fishing the rest of the year.” More than half Americans are in debt When Stallard reeled in and caught his winning lottery ticket, he became part of the 23% of Americans who are living with no debt, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. While the definition of ‘debt free’ varies, over half of all Americans owe some form of balance. According to a report by the Federal Reserve of New York branch, the total household debt in the US reached $17.5 trillion in 2023. Sources of 2023 household debt in the US include: Credit Cards: $1.13 trillion Mortgage: $12.25 trillion Auto Loans: 1.61 trillion Student Loans: $1.6 trillion Outstanding balances also include debt from retail credit cards, consumer loans and other non-household expenses. There are still two $150,000 winning tickets remaining for 50x The Cash lottery game, according to the Kentucky Lottery.