Eddie Hoover’s son, Rob, gives him some lottery tickets for Christmas every year. This year, the tradition led to a $100,000 win in the Carolina Black game that means Hoover and his family can attend the son’s wedding in the Bahamas next fall.

Hoover, a disabled Army veteran from Monroe who worked previously as a manager of an auto parts store, discovered his good luck Saturday when his son arrived for a late Christmas get-together. This year’s gift was 10 Carolina Black scratch-off tickets and one had the game’s top prize of $100,000.

“Every time I play the lottery, I dream about winning,” said Hoover, who used to play the South Carolina lottery before the North Carolina Education Lottery started in 2006. He said normally he plays Mega Millions and Cash 5, buying tickets with a friend.

“Couldn’t happen to a better person,” said Rob Hoover, who accompanied his Dad to lottery headquarters Monday to claim the prize. “Best Dad in the world. He’s done everything for us. Time to pay him back.”

Hoover said he plans to use his winnings to pay bills and to attend his son’s wedding. He said before his good luck he did not know if he could afford the September trip since it involved a cruise to the Bahamas for a beach wedding.

“That’s probably the best part of the whole thing,” said his son. He bought the tickets at the Kangaroo Express on West Franklin Street in Monroe.

Hoover received $68,001 after taxes were withheld. He claimed the last of six top prizes in the Carolina Black game, which launched in June.

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, Union County education programs received more than $55.3 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.