Kevin Simpson of Stoneville stopped to get gas for his lawnmower and walked away the winner of a $1 million scratch-off prize.

Simpson, a retired firefighter who now works for Goodyear, bought two $150 Million Cash Explosion scratch-off tickets at the J-Mart on East Stadium Drive in Eden after his lawnmower ran out of gas.

He recalled scratching his tickets right in the J-Mart parking lot and not winning anything off of his first ticket, but bagging $1 million with the second.

Simpson claimed his prize at lottery headquarters in Raleigh on Monday. He had a choice of taking the $1 million as an annuity of $50,000 a year over 20 years or a lump sum. He chose the annuity and after state and federal tax withholdings, he walked away with his first payment of $35,381.

Simpson says winning big won’t change him. “I’m just going to continue working,” he said. “It’s what I’ve been doing for 20 years. This is for my retirement.”

$150 Million Cash Explosion launched in October 2018 with four top prizes of $4 million and six $1 million prizes. Two $4 million prizes and two $1 million prizes remain to be claimed.

Ticket sales from scratch-offs make it possible for the lottery to raise more than $700 million per year for education. For details on how $4.8 million raised by the lottery made a difference in Rockingham County last year, visit and click on the “Impact” section.