RALEIGH – The wins just kept coming for Michael Abernathy, a truck driver from Lexington, as he got married on Saturday and then four days later won a $1 million prize.

“Phenomenal, the way this has all happened,” said Abernathy as he and his bride collected the prize Thursday. “It’s amazing. It’s a blessing.”

The big wedding gift came on Wednesday when Abernathy stopped in the Sheetz on South Main Street in Lexington and bought a $30 Millionaire Maker ticket, won $30 back, and decided to buy two more. One had no prize. The other had the big prize.

“I about passed out,” Abernathy said, “when I saw it was a million dollars.”

He became the 20th person to win a $1 million prize on the Millionaire Maker ticket, the first game to offer 30 $1 million prizes. He had the option of taking the $1 million as an annuity of $50,000 a year over 20 years, or a lump sum of $600,000. He chose the lump sum of $600,000 and took home $424,509 after required federal and state tax withholdings.

The newlywed says he will put some of his prize money towards a honeymoon to Florida with his wife next year. He will use the rest of the money to pay off some bills and save for his retirement.

“I’m 60 years old,” Abernathy said, “so I’m going to put the rest up for security.”

Ticket sales from scratch-offs like Millionaire Maker make it possible for the lottery to raise more than $900 million a year for education. For details on how $9.3 million raised by the lottery made a difference in Davidson County in 2020, visit www.nclottery.com and click on the “Impact” section.