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Wilmington man thought he was dreaming after $2 million win

May 20, 2022 Posted by NC Lottery at 11:29 AM

John Robbins of Wilmington, after winning $2 million on a $20 scratch-off, said he asked a coworker to check his ticket to make sure he wasn’t dreaming.

“He looked at it and said, ‘Man you got it. This is the big one,’” Robbins said.

Robbins, 54, bought his lucky Ultimate 7’s ticket from the Han-Dee Hugo’s on North College Road in Wilmington. Robbins said he tried to stay calm after his coworker confirmed the win.

“I had to try to keep my composure,” Robbins said. “I didn’t want to alarm too many people.”

When Robbins arrived at lottery headquarters to collect his prize, he had a decision to make. He could choose to receive the prize as an annuity of $100,000 over 20 years or a lump sum of $1.2 million. He chose the lump-sum amount of $1.2 million and, after required state and federal tax withholdings, took home $852,126.

Robbins said he wants to use some of the money to give back to the community, including the Excite Credit Union in Wilmington. He said he spent years carrying two jobs and, even though he had numerous business ideas, he didn’t have the money at the time to follow through on them.

“I want to help out a struggling entrepreneur,” Robbins said. “In other words, passing it forward.”

The Ultimate 7’s game debuted in May 2021 with four top prizes of $2 million and eight $100,000 prizes. Robbins won the last $2 million prize in the game. All top prizes have now been claimed and the lottery will now take steps to end the game.


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5/24/2022 11:18 - Vaneet S.

I totally second Gary K.'s comment. This sham that is called NCEL should stop immediately. more than 50% of the winning gone in taxes, omg. This is very shady.NC Lottery
Hey there, Vaneet! The 40% difference between the lump sum and the annuity would be earned on interest over the course of 20 years and used to pay out the prize to the winner. So a winner could choose to receive $2 million over 20 years, or $1.2 million up front. Either way, we are required to withhold the minimum amount for state (5.25%) and federal (24%) taxes - it just depends on whether it is withheld annually with annuity payments, or all at once with a lump sum payment. Hope this helps to clarify!

5/23/2022 08:06 - Calvin W.

That's so great of you to play it forward. God will continue to bless you as you bless your fellow man.

5/23/2022 07:14 - William A.

Gary K., Your right on it.They have decreased the $20 dollar ticket prizes from 4 million to two million. They are now dumping new runs of tickets on old runs instead of picking them up like they used to. THIS NEEDS TO STOP! Please lottery don't do this.

5/22/2022 03:35 - shirley b.

NCEL where is a trip for NC?

5/22/2022 01:15 - Rubin C.


5/22/2022 12:42 - Natalie R.


5/22/2022 07:02 - Vickie W.

Congratulations! Great to see a local person win. Blessings!

5/22/2022 05:29 - Deborah M.

Congratulations ??

5/22/2022 05:25 - Beth D.

John. Congratulations- and you are so humbling- when I hear stories like yours - it makes me wish that one day - this struggling gal will win too!

5/21/2022 06:39 - Beatrice L.

Congratulations!!! That's wonderful, I'm just happy as I can be for you. For those of you asking for donations that's a shame. The poor fellow hasn't even been able to enjoy it yet so let's be kind & just wish him the best without wanting a handout from a stranger who has played & won.. He was so funny..I think my knees would've buckled & someone would have to prop me up lol. I am truly happy for him.

5/21/2022 04:51 - Gary K.

NCEL, why would you have the man hold a check for two mil, when he technically only got a check for $852k. What y’all do with your marketing is extremely disingenuous, and if anyone else were to do that I am sure they would be held accountable. If you didn’t give him a check for 2mil, then it is 100% false advertising and marketing in an effort to take advantage of of the great citizens of the state. Robbins did not win $2 mil. I hope at some point the People of NC get fed up with the lies and either revamp the system in an honest way or make it illegal for the state to “Tax” the poor, with false claims of big prizes that have never not once been paid as they claim or advertise.

5/21/2022 02:29 - Richard M.

Taxes...took more than half ??

5/21/2022 11:29 - Tony T.

hoping one day our legislators will pass a bill letting big lottery winners stay anon.

5/21/2022 08:57 - Ryan D J.

This is probably one of the best winning ticket accounts I have ever read. You could almost feel the mix of emotions Mr Robbins felt after his friend told him he had won! BRAVO!

5/21/2022 08:15 - Angela S.

Congratulations on your blessings my door is the black Aunt Emma new are located here in Raleigh North Carolina she is trying to get her beauty supply store up and running she is from Clinton North Carolina and she would love for you to donate or shows charity towards her business she’s on Facebook as AshleyNicole.

5/21/2022 07:34 - Mark Z.


5/21/2022 06:15 - Robin S.

Congratulations on your win. You are fortunate to buy that last 2 million ticket. By the way I knew a guy in MD with the same exact name as yours, ,John Robbins . Ya don't see that every day.

5/21/2022 01:12 - Kicia P.

Congratulations to you..

5/20/2022 09:28 - Andy B.

Congratulations..God bless you!!

5/20/2022 08:44 - William A.

It should of been 4 million. Record profits and smaller Grand prizes. Why not increase Jackpots and payouts.

5/20/2022 04:52 - Ryan D J.

I enjoyed reading about Mr. Robbin's reaction upon learning he really had a tier winner. :) :) I was literally beaming from ear to ear. Happy for you, Sir!!

5/20/2022 01:53 - Gloria C.

Congratulations to you and I wish you many more wonderful wins.It is Good to know you want to pass it forward.I think that is great.

5/20/2022 01:31 - Sherry W.

If God is for you who? Can be against you

5/20/2022 12:24 - michael s.

Congratulations John!

5/20/2022 11:41 - Mary H.

Congratulations :)

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