Hazard Bentley III of Charlotte won $25,000 a year for life in the state lottery last month, beating the odds of 1 in 1.8 million.
On Monday, he decided to take a lump sum of $390,000 instead and spend it all in a heartfelt way.
Cash is what was needed right now, Bentley told state lottery officials in Raleigh when he went to claim his prize. He has two daughters he wants to see go to college, after all, including his special needs daughter he stays at home to care for and school.
“Send the kids to school,” the 53-year-old Bentley told lottery officials. “It’s just enough to send the kids to school.”
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The 53-year-old said a “lucky for life” feeling makes him a regular player of the Lucky For Life game, and led to his Dec. 4 win of the game’s second prize, $25,000 a year for life, he said.
Bentley bought his the ticket the same day of the drawing at the Harris Teeter on West Mallard Creek Church Road in Charlotte. When he saw he’d matched five of the six numbers in the drawing, he didn’t know what to think.
“I was stunned, and in disbelief,” Bentley told lottery officials. “I had to scan it again, and then I started shaking like a leaf.”
After federal and state tax withholdings, Bentley took home $271,053. He said he might also use some of the money to take his family on a vacation where they can do some scuba driving.
So far, two North Carolinians have won the top prize of $1,000 a day for life, and 13 have won the second prize. Players have 10 ways in all to win a prize playing Lucky For Life.