At first, a Lincolnton man didn’t realize how lucky he was.
In early September, Tyrone Heller bought a $30 instant scratch-off lottery ticket at the convenience store where he works, Country Corner Foodmart on N.C. 150 East in Lincolnton.
He waited until he got home to play the Ultimate Millions game, but was puzzled at first when he saw the “1 MIL” prize amount on the ticket.
“Then it kind of sunk in. Did I win $1 million?” he later told lottery officials.
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Heller plans to buy a house and save for his daughter’s college fund, he told the N.C. Education Lottery. He received the prize on Friday, according to the lottery.
Heller could not be reached for comment Wednesday. But a co-worker at Country Corner, Debra Tablock, said Heller plans to keep working there.
She said Heller is a part-time worker who has been at the store for about 15 years, and also has a second job doing painting work.
“He’s a good guy,” Tablock said. “We’re all thrilled to death for him.”
A $1 million lottery prize can be claimed in 20 payments of $50,000 or a one-time payment of $600,000. Heller chose the lump sum, the lottery said, which was worth $415,509 after federal and state taxes were withheld.
The odds of winning a $1 million prize in the Ultimate Millions game are 1 in 886,667.
Top prize for that game, which debuted Sept. 1, is $10 million. The odds of landing that prize are nearly 1 in 4 million.