Rodney Freeman of Asheboro said he knows his family will be taken care of now after he became the first winner of a $1 million prize in a new scratch-off game.

“It’s important to take care of life’s biggest blessings: family,” Freeman said. “I’ve always worked to take care of my wife and four kids. This win, it’s a true blessing.”

Freeman, a 42-year-old North Carolina Department of Transportation worker, and his wife stopped at the Hammond’s BP on Old N.C. 49 in Asheboro when he scratched his winning $10 Big Cash Payout ticket. He said both of them were speechless when they realized what happened.

“We both started crying,” Freeman said. “It didn’t seem real.”

Freeman said he finished his Christmas shopping right before he won, but he “might have to get a little something extra now” for his family.

When Freeman arrived at lottery headquarters on Monday to collect his prize, he had a decision to make. He could choose to receive the prize as an annuity of $50,000 over 20 years or a lump sum of $600,000. He chose the lump-sum amount of $600,000 and, after required state and federal tax withholdings, took home $424,503.

The Big Cash Payout game launched in December with four $1 million top prizes. Three $1 million top prizes remain to be claimed.

Ticket sales from scratch-off games make it possible for the lottery to raise more than $900 million per year for education. For details on how $8.2 million raised by the lottery made a difference in Randolph County in 2020, visit and click on the “Impact” section