After an unlucky start to his day, Anthony Dowe of Leland discovered his Mega Millions ticket made him a millionaire.

The morning after the drawing, Dowe was on his way to work when he got in an unfortunate accident.

“I hit two deer with my brand-new car,” he recalled. “So, I just got mad, went back home, got into bed and went to sleep. Then I woke up and checked my tickets. I checked the fourth ticket and I saw the “4” and then the next number and the next number and the next number,” he said. “I’m like, ‘Wow!’ It was just crazy.”

Dowe, who works in shipping and receiving, bought his winning $3 Quick Pick ticket at the Minuteman Food Mart on Mercantile Drive in Leland.

His Megaplier ticket matched the numbers on all five white balls to beat odds of 1 in 12.6 million and win him a $1,000,000 prize. The prize was doubled to $2,000,000 when the 2X Megaplier was drawn.

“I went and showed my dad and my mom and everybody was happy,” said Dowe.

He claimed his prize Monday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh and took home $1,415,001 after required federal and state tax withholdings.

“It just feels great,” said Dowe of his big win. “I’m just gonna fix things on my mother and father’s house and get my car fixed, pay it off, and pay my niece’s car off.” The rest, he says, will go into savings.

The jackpot for Tuesday’s Mega Millions drawing stands at $20 million as an annuity prize or $14.7 million cash. The odds of winning a Mega Millions jackpot are 1 in 302.5 million.

Players can buy $2 Mega Millions tickets through Online Play on the lottery’s website,, with the NC Lottery Official Mobile App, or at any lottery retail location.

Draw games such as Mega Millions make it possible for the lottery to raise more than $725 million a year for education. For details on how lottery funds have made a difference in all of North Carolina’s 100 counties, click on the “Impact” section of the lottery’s website.