A Charlotte man could hardly believe it when he realized he’d won a million dollars in a North Carolina lottery scratch-off game this week.
“I started pacing, and holding my head,” Abel Abreha told lottery officials after claiming his prize at lottery headquarters in Raleigh on Wednesday. “I kept thinking, ‘Is this for real?’ I was so excited I couldn’t sleep.”
Abreha bought the $10 Carolina Millions scratch-off ticket at Neighbors Mart on LaSalle Street in north Charlotte on Tuesday.
He said he stopped there because he had a lucky feeling.
Never miss a local story.
“When I have a good feeling, I get a scratch-off ticket,” Abreha told lottery officials. “I usually win something when I do.”
Abreha beat odds of 1 in 1.08 million.
He had the choice of taking a $1 million annuity that has 20 payments of $50,000 a year or a lump sum of $600,000. He chose the lump sum. After federal and state tax withholdings, he received $417,009. He said he plans to use the money to buy a new house.
Carolina Millions launched in October with eight top prizes of $1 million. Four top prizes remain.