Stephen Howell of Graham stopped for drinks and snacks and walked away a big winner after he scratched off the final $1,000,000 Red Hot Millions top prize.
When Howell shopped at the Fairway One Stop on East Main Street in Haw River, he added a few $10 scratch-off tickets to his purchase.
He recalled scratching off his lucky ticket in his living room later that day and sharing his good fortune with his mom, who was in the next room. “I handed her the ticket,” he recalled. “And she said, ‘You won a million dollars!’”
Howell shared the good news with the rest of his family. “They all have decided that they’d like a cut of it,” he joked. “Now whether or not they get it is a different matter!”
Howell claimed his prize at lottery headquarters in Raleigh on Tuesday. He had a choice 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, and after federal and state tax withholdings, he took home $424,503.
“I’ve never really thought about what I would do if I won,” said Howell. “I saved that for when the time came.”
Now that it has, Howell said he is considering buying a new car for himself. “Everyone’s picked out cars for me,” he said.
Howell won the last of four top prizes in the Red Hot Millions game. Since all top prizes have been claimed, the lottery will begin steps to end the game.
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