RALEIGH – James Anderson, a resident of Raeford in Hoke County, is the first player to claim a $1 million prize in the Holiday Millions game.

Anderson learned of his win when he scratched off his ticket in the parking lot of the 3 Way Food Mart on Goldsboro Road in Wade in Cumberland County.

“I made them scan the ticket and I heard the music come from the machine,” Anderson said. “I didn’t think it could be true, but it feels real now.”

Top prize winners in the Holiday Millions game have the option of claiming their prize as a 20 year annuity or as a lump sum. Anderson chose the $600,000 lump sum, which had an after-tax value of $408,006.

As of Tuesday morning, two $1 million prizes remain to be claimed in the game. Players can enter their non-winning Holiday Millions tickets into a drawing at www.lucke-zone.com for a chance to win $3 million, the largest second-chance prize the NCEL has ever offered. The date of the drawing has not been scheduled.

Ticket sales for games such as Holiday Millions have enabled the lottery to raise more than $2.45 billion for education initiatives statewide. Since the lottery began through June 30, 2012, Hoke County education programs received more than $15.8 million in lottery funds. By law, those funds pay for teachers’ salaries in grades K-3, school construction, prekindergarten programs for at-risk four-year-olds, and need-based college scholarships and financial aid.