Mint Hill man drives around for weeks with $4 million lottery ticket

A Mint Hill contractor learned Tuesday that the lottery ticket nestled in the console of his truck for several weeks would make him $2.4 million.

James Lampi Jr., bought a $4 million-winning scratch-off ticket in June from a game called the “$200 Million Blowout,” but he didn’t check his winnings at a local lottery retailer until this week, according to a N.C. Education Lottery story published Wednesday.

The N.C. Lottery allows a $4 million prize to be claimed in 20 annuity payments of $200,000 or as a one-time reduced payment of $2.4 million.

“I knew I’d won something, but I figured it was just $20, like I normally win,” Lampi told the lottery. “I didn’t even scratch off the prize amount.”

When the clerk told him he had to claim his prize at the lottery office, Lampi said he realized it must be more than $500.

I may chill out at the beach for a while. For a good long while.

James Lampi Jr.

“It was an interesting story that he just drove around for all that time and he had no idea that his life was changing,” said lottery spokesman Ryan Kennemur.

Instead of opting for the 20-year annuity worth the full prize value, Lampi chose the lump sum of $2.4 million. He walked away with $1,662,006 after required state and federal withholdings.

Lampi beat 1 in 3.2 million odds.

The scratch-off ticket cost $20. The game will not end until all of the top prizes are claimed.

Two more $4 million prizes and 10 $1 million prizes have yet to be claimed.

“I’m going to make some investments and donate to some charities,” Lampi said. “And I may chill out at the beach for a while. For a good long while.”

Fowler: 704-358-5294