Duncan K. McRae of Fayetteville was a successful, although sometimes unlucky, individual. He was a scholar, lawyer, diplomat, and a courageous battle commander during the Civil War, serving as Colonel of the 5th N.C. Regiment. However, he was never successful in his bids for political office. He bought a lottery ticket, which he sold because he needed money. The ticket later paid off at $100,000. Receiving a $5,000 legal fee, he invested the money in cotton and went broke.