North Carolina man will use $100K lottery winnings to support schools in Mali

A North Carolina man who won $100,000 in a scratch-off game is using his newfound wealth to help children in his native country.

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Souleymane Sana, 39, of New Bern, is originally from Mali. The dance instructor created a nonprofit to benefit children, and the cash he won in the North Carolina Education Lottery from a $30 Millionaire Maker ticket will go a long way toward achieving his goal.

“I’m going to keep doing my best to help build more classrooms for the children in Mali,” Sana told lottery officials in a statement. “That is the thing that makes me really happy.”

After federal and state taxes are deducted, Sana will be able to funnel approximately $71,529 toward his nonprofit, lottery officials said. He bought the winning ticket at the Neuse Shop & Fuel store in Kinston and received his check on May 16.

“I grew up in a tough way,” Sana said in a video produced by lottery officials. “That was one of the main reasons I buy (a) scratch ticket and I keep playing and see if I’m going to win something.”

Sana said that some of the money will be used to pay for the children’s education, while some of it will be earmarked to build classrooms and desks.

And some of the cash will be used to build a dance center, Sana said.

“I love to dance and I want to teach the children in Mali to love it too,” Sana told lottery officials. “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.”

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

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