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Marine veteran to take wife of 33 years on anniversary cruise with $100,000 win

December 18, 2018 Posted by NC Lottery at 1:49 PM

Over three decades ago, Michael Harlow of Stanley met the love of his life, and now, thanks to a $100,000 lottery prize, he’s taking his wife on an anniversary cruise to celebrate their time together.

“It was a whirlwind romance,” Harlow said. “I think most people didn’t think we’d last. We met 33 years ago and have been together ever since.”

The Marine veteran plans to take his wife on an eight-day Caribbean cruise.

“It’s not just a chance to celebrate,” Harlow said. “My wife is battling breast cancer right now, and having something to look forward to will help her get through the chemo treatments. I’ve already called the Carnival Cruise Line and upgraded our rooms to the biggest we can get.”

Harlow’s good fortune started two weeks ago when he stopped by the Circle K on North Chester Street in Gastonia on his way to work and bought a Big Money Playbook.

Harlow, who works as a security guard, scratched the book of tickets after completing his rounds.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Harlow said. “I literally went up to one of our towers and let out the biggest, ‘Yes!’  I just yelled out I was so happy.”

Harlow claimed the prize Monday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh. After required state and federal tax withholdings, he took home $70,507. 


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12/22/2018 07:41 - Denver G.

Good guess Mike. Remember though a lot of tickets that have been sold are gifts, still unscratched and not cashed in yet. So the remaining count is not as accurate as usual.

12/22/2018 07:16 - Mike S.

Hey DG, based on the current rate of sales I'm predicting 4,932,491 entries in the Holiday 2nd chance. Merry Christmas to all and congrats to the Cash 5 $1M winner in Mocksville!

12/21/2018 07:55 - Feraldo R.

Congratulations Mr.Harlow, if anyone deserves to win, it's you and your wife. Prayers for a healthy healing for your wife. I hope she enjoys that cruise. Merry Christmas

12/21/2018 08:51 - Denver G.

Hey Brian, 1.5 million entries for a monthly lucky rewards drawing is no big deal, it's almost always that high. Now the second Holiday 2nd chance drawing that ends 1/31/19, those entries will be WAY high. The first one was only a month long and had over 4 million entries. This last one is 2 months long and will have 6-8 million or more !!!!

12/21/2018 08:36 - Deborah T.

God bless you and your wife! Prayers for good results in her health and y’all enjoy the cruise! Smooth sailing and beautiful weather is. So healing!

12/20/2018 05:06 - Brian L.

Holy moly... over 1.2 MILLION entries for Dazzling December... It will easily hit north of 1.5 MILLION entries by the end of the month. So even if you want just barely 1% chance of winning, you need over 15,000 entries! That means you've spent way more than the actual prize, haha. XD You just need 1 entry for a shot to win... Ok, ok. I get it. :)

12/20/2018 04:11 - N'neka C.

Have you guys already notified all the winners of Thanks A Plenty contest?NC Lottery
Hey N'Neka! We only post the winner's information once they have responded to the winner notification and claimed their prize. Most of the winners for the Thanks A Plenty drawing have claimed and they can be found over on the "Draws" page.

12/20/2018 03:19 - Qiu L.

Hi, may I ask how many entities have received for "Dazzling December" and "10 Quick Cash" drawing for this week? Thanks!NC Lottery
Hey Qiu, So far the Dazzling December drawing has 1,227,298 entries and the 10 Win Quick Cash has 157,490 entries.

12/20/2018 06:41 - stephanie l.

First and foremost; prayers for your wife and you as y'all endure this difficult time with cancer. Secondly; thank you for your selfless act of bravery and service to our country. Lastly, congratulations! $70k and a dream cruise!! Enjoy! ??????

12/20/2018 05:07 - Kirk X F.

Merry Christmas !

12/20/2018 03:34 - Michael M.

My mother had breast cancer. The best thing to do is help decrease stress so that cruise may do more good than you realize. Have fun. Hey when is there going to be another large monthly lucke rewards drawing? Ive been saving up for a 25-30k drawing. Also, tonight the Cash 5 will probably be hit, so I am definitely playing. NC Lottery
Hey Michael! We've got some good ones coming up! In February there will be a Lucke-Rewards drawing for a $10,000 prize and in April we will have a drawing for $20,000.

12/19/2018 06:52 - Jovonnia M.

This is a great story. Many blessings to you and your family

12/19/2018 05:00 - Roslyn K.


12/19/2018 11:59 - VENICE B.


12/19/2018 09:33 - Maurice H.

Bless you!

12/18/2018 10:28 - Berry B.

Congrats Mr.H.M,Plzs njoy the trip,your lady is one lucky woman!!

12/18/2018 09:15 - Shanita S.

What a great story! Congratulations

12/18/2018 06:56 - roberta n.

Congratulations Micheal. A great blessing to you and your family. I pray your wife will have a wonderful recovery. My prayers are with her. Both of you Enjoy that wonderful cruise. Merry Christmas

12/18/2018 06:55 - Denver G.

Congrats and very well said DL. Thank you both for your service. Happy Holidays to all. Please try to refrain from all the negative comments.

12/18/2018 05:16 - Larry P.


12/18/2018 05:10 - albert l.

Go out and enjoy your vacation and tks for your service

12/18/2018 03:47 - Sarah B.

Thanks for you kind words, DL. We will be sure to pass them along to the team! Congrats on your win, and Merry Christmas!

12/18/2018 03:31 - Douglas H.

Semper Fi Mr Harlow. We were blessed with a win in Second Chance Holiday Wishes.We are so grateful that there are no words to explain. We see so many negative comments here about NCEL But we have always played responsibly and enjoyed it and we want to say that every single team member we spoke to at NCEL-Raleigh regarding our winning blessing were phenomenal! They are kind,professional and second to none and they were genuinely excited and happy for us. Playing the lotto is fun,it’s a chance for a win and it gives back to our state. We never thought it could be on us and we never expected it because we just enjoy playing and we’ve had little wins here and there and that was fun.This second chance win was truly a surprise and blessing. Thank you to all the awesome folks who work for the North Carolina lottery! Congrats Harlow Family Merry Christmas to all. May you be the next winner of the North Carolina lottery :-) It can happen to anyone anytime You never know so enjoy playing! God Bless everyone

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