'This was my dream.' Man to help schoolchildren in his hometown in Africa after NC lottery win

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Friday, May 19, 2023
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A man in New Bern who just won big on North Carolina Education Lottery scratch-off plans to pay it forward in his native hometown-Mali, Africa.

Souleymane Sana won $100,000 on the $30 Millionaire Maker ticket. Sana told lottery officials he will use the money to help schoolchildren in Mali.

Sana, who is a dance instructor, said he has created a nonprofit to help the people of his native country.

"I'm going to keep doing my best to help build more classrooms for the children in Mali. That is the thing that makes me really happy."

"I love to dance and I want to teach the children in Mali to love it too," he said. "If you talk about culture and you talk about education, they both go together. Some of the money is going to be used to start building a dance center there."

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He bought his ticket from Neuse Shop & Fuel on West New Bern Road in Kinston. Sana collected his prize at lottery headquarters and, after required state and federal tax withholdings, he took home $71,259.

"My dream is just becoming true little by little and I hope it will keep going."

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