RALEIGH - David Hager, a resident of Durham, plans to pay bills and take a tropical vacation after winning the $1 million top prize in the lottery’s Red Hot Millions game. Hager learned of his win on Monday night while sitting at home.

“I scratched off the big one first,” Hager said. “I put on my glasses and kept scratching my other tickets, then came back to that one to see if it was real. I told my wife we were debt free. It’s a good feeling. I’m pretty blessed.”

The Red Hot Millions game marks the first time that a N.C. Education Lottery instant game has allowed players who scratch off a $1 million prize to choose between a 20-year annuity prize or take a discounted lump sum cash prize. Players who choose the annuity receive $50,000 a year for twenty years. Those who choose the lump sum receive a cash prize of $680,000. The game now has two of the six $1 million top prizes remaining to be claimed.

Hager chose the lump sum option and received a payment of $462,403, after taxes were withheld. He said he may also use a portion of his winnings to promote his music label Soul Citi Entertainment. Hager purchased the winning ticket at Parkwood Convenience on Revere Road in Durham.

Since the lottery began through June 30 of this year, Durham County education programs received more than $40.1 million in lottery funds. By law, those funds pay for teachers’ salaries, school construction, need-based college scholarships and prekindergarten programs. Players in Durham County have won more than $102 million in prizes since the lottery’s inception.

To date, the N.C. Education Lottery has raised more than $2.1 billion for these initiatives statewide.