RALEIGH – David Whitmore, a retired facilities manager from Henderson in Vance County, claimed the birthday present of a lifetime on Thursday afternoon: a $1 million Mega Millions prize.

“Today is my birthday and this evening I’m going to a concert with my kids,” Whitmore said. “I haven’t told them yet, so I may pick them up in a limo as a surprise.”

Whitmore also plans to use his winnings from the Nov. 13 drawing, worth $680,000 after taxes, to pay off his mortgage, pay bills and maybe take a cruise.

“OK, now it feels real,” Whitmore said as he held his check for the first time. He purchased his winning ticket at the 39 Pit Stop on N.C. 39 in Henderson.

Whitmore’s win marked the second time in the past three drawings that a Mega Millions ticket sold in North Carolina won a $1 million prize. The first winning ticket was sold in the Tuesday, Nov. 6 drawing. The winner, Queenester Newman of Sampson County, claimed her prize on Tuesday.

To win a $1 million prize playing Mega Millions, the $2 Megaplier ticket must match all five white balls. The odds of winning a $1 million prize are one in 3.9 million.

Ticket sales for games such as Mega Millions have enabled the lottery to raise more than $2.58 billion for education initiatives statewide. Since the lottery began through June 30, 2012, Vance County education programs received more than $12 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.