Two friends from Arden, Steve Penix and Donald McClellan, sat down for coffee at a local convenience store on Christmas Eve and won the Christmas gift of a lifetime. The gift came in the form of a $10 Cash Spectacular ticket that was worth $1 million.

The two friends scratched off their prize at the Kounty Line Fletcher store on Hendersonville Road, where they purchased the lucky ticket.

“Donald scratched it while I was drinking my coffee,” Penix said. “Neither one of us could believe it. We still can’t, to be honest.”

Penix plans to use the prize to pay off his mortgage and McClellan plans to use his winnings to pay bills.

The $1 million top prize is awarded as an annuity. Penix and McClellan split the prize. Each gets $25,000 a year for 20 years. They each received a first check, worth $17,001 after taxes, on Thursday.

As of Dec. 27, one top prize of $1 million has yet to be claimed in the Cash Spectacular game.

Ticket sales for games such as instant scratch-offs have enabled the lottery to raise more than $2.58 billion for education initiatives statewide. Since the lottery began through June 30, 2012, Buncombe County education programs received more than $40.5 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.