Roderick Falls of Charlotte walked into a Food Lion grocery store to buy some produce on Tuesday night and left with $1 million.
Falls figured he’d get a $2 Mega Millions lottery ticket at the store on Sunset Road West in north Charlotte. “That decision changed my life forever,” the restaurant manager told state lottery officials. He beat odds of 1 in 12.6 million.
Falls didn’t realize his winnings until he tried to claim the prize on the ticket at a gas station Wednesday morning.
“I thought I had only won $500,” Falls told lottery officials. “I don’t know why I couldn’t see the other numbers. I must have had tunnel vision. I gave the ticket to the clerk to check and he shouted, ‘Get out of here! You won a million dollars. You need to go to Raleigh.’ ”
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Falls still didn’t believe it, so he took the ticket to the lottery claim center in Charlotte to double check. Sure enough, he needed to go to lottery headquarters. He claimed his prize Thursday afternoon. After state and federal tax withholdings, he took home $695,010. He plans to use some of the money to pay off his house.
The ticket matched all five white balls drawn to win the $1 million prize.
The jackpot for Friday’s drawing is $76 million or $46.6 million cash.
Another Charlotte man also claimed a $1 million lottery prize this week.
Lewis Watkins bought the winning Extreme Millions ticket when he stopped to get a drink at the Kangaroo Express on Ashdale Court in Concord.
Another 13 lottery players near Charlotte won $1 million in 2017.