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news blog > article

Four days after getting married, Lexington man gets $1 million wedding gift

October 8, 2021 Posted by NC Lottery at 1:14 PM

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.”


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10/14/2021 03:38 - Denver G.

@zach p. Actually the state got about $30,000 in taxes and the federal got about $150,000. Lottery winnings are considered income and are taxable. They will prolly get some more come tax time since only the minimum amount was taken out...

10/14/2021 05:57 - Zach P.

Congratulations to the state and federal governments. They made almost $600,000 and did not have to buy a ticket!

10/12/2021 10:16 - Paul R.

Hey NCEL, I see a new ticket scanner on the app, but it is very slow. It just keeps scanning up to 1-2 minutes for just one ticket. When you have multiple tickets it takes way too long. Any way to speed that up?NC Lottery
Hi Paul, are you using the latest update? A new one was released this morning to fix previous bugs that some players were experiencing with the scanner. If you are still experiencing technical difficulties, please contact our support team at 1-866-934-0289 or visit https://nclottery.com/Help and we will be happy to look into this for you!

10/11/2021 08:58 - Douglas H.

Congratulations:-)on both your wedding/and winning. Way to go!!

10/11/2021 02:49 - Casselle W.

What a blessing, congrats, enjoy life to the max and stay safe out here.

10/11/2021 11:30 - Jeffrey W.

How many entries in the ghost gold $500 drawingNC Lottery
Thanks for commenting, Jeffrey! The Ghost Gold drawing has 761,046 entries as of our most recent count. Good luck!

10/10/2021 01:22 - Tina P.

Concocongratulations on your win-win! You yyou give me hope for a second chancece for afor love and money in my old age.

10/09/2021 08:39 - Lee T.

Can't pick numbers on cash 5. App and website is NOT working. NC Lottery
Sorry for the inconvenience. Our technical support team is currently working on fixing this issue.

10/09/2021 04:05 - shirley b.

NCEL time for 909 919 911 999 699 been out too many times already!!!!!!

10/09/2021 02:16 - Danny P.

Congratulations on the win! N.C. Lottery, What has happen to the 09/29 & 10/06 drawings. Both say no winners yet. Thanks in advance for your response! NC Lottery
Hi Danny. We know you're eager to find out who the winners are—we are too! Once we notify the winners, they must respond and claim their prize. Only then can we update the website with their names. Apologies for the delay, but until they have responded, we don't officially have winners.

10/09/2021 09:18 - Gloria C.

Congratulations to you both. What a nice wedding gift. I wish you many more wonderful wins.

10/09/2021 09:16 - Amy G.

Congratulations on your wedding and your big win!

10/09/2021 12:29 - Charles H.

What does the fact that he got married 4 days earlier have to do with anything. I know these human interest stories probably fascinate many players, but it seems like every big winner what the NCEL thinks is an unique story behind it. This guy got married, big deal. Another winner craved a stupid cheeseburger and won big. Another had to go out and buy nasty milk for his kid and won big. It's a shame that many winners have a story behind it and some I'm convinced the NCEL made up to get more people enticed to play.

10/08/2021 09:36 - Lee T.

Can't pick numbers on cash 5 or lucky for life. What's up? NC Lottery
Hi Lee. Sorry about that! We are working on this issue with the app, but the website is working fine. We will have this issue fixed soon.

10/08/2021 08:32 - lori j.


10/08/2021 04:05 - James J.

What's up with the website? Cannot pick my own numbers on LFL. Only quick pick works. Thanks.NC Lottery
Thanks for reaching out, James! Our engineers are aware of an issue with players being able to pick their own numbers and are currently investigating the issue. We hope to have it resolved soon! Please reach out to our support team at 1-866-934-0289 or visit https://nclottery.com/Help. Sorry for the inconvenience!

10/08/2021 03:10 - vanessa b.

Congratulations. On. Yur. Win. Wedding

10/08/2021 02:25 - Mary H.


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