RALEIGH – Rodney Queen of Kernersville will always believe in second chances after scratching his way to no prize on a Carolina Gold instant ticket only to have his luck turn around in the game’s second-chance drawing with a $1 million win.

The name of Queen, who works as a counterman at a Greensboro car dealership, was the one drawn from among more than 700,000 entries in the Carolina Gold second-chance drawing. The $1 million prize is the largest ever offered in a NCEL second-chance drawing.

“Is this real,” Queen asked when Alice Garland, executive director of the N.C. Education Lottery told him of his win.

“This is real,” Garland replied.

“Oh my goodness,” Queen said. “Have you ever seen a 43-year-old man cry?”

Queen could have received his prize as an annuity, getting $50,000 a year for 20 years. But he chose instead to receive the cash option of $680,000. Queen said he had some plans for his after-tax winnings of $462,403.

“Pay off a few bills, kids’ college fund, and I’ve got an old truck with 204,000 miles on it,” Queen said. “So I will get a new truck, a family vacation and then after that just put it away and save.” He said he has always enjoyed playing the lottery, but was attracted to the Carolina Gold tickets because of the second-chance feature in the game.

Second-chance drawings are a feature of some NCEL instant games, allowing players to enter their non-winning instant tickets into a drawing for a prize. The Carolina Gold game started with three chances to win $1 million instantly –¬ one of those prizes remains unclaimed – and the chance to enter non-winning Carolina Gold tickets into the drawing for $1 million.

Since the lottery began through June 30, 2011, Forsyth County education programs received more than $63.7 million in lottery funds. By law, those funds pay for teachers’ salaries in grades K-3, school construction, and need-based college scholarships, and prekindergarten programs for at-risk four-year-olds. To date, the N.C. Education Lottery has raised more than $2.2 billion for these initiatives statewide.