RALEIGH – A cashier in Charlotte won $1 million chasing one of last month’s high-profile Mega Millions jackpots. Mehari Berhe, who is originally from Ethiopia, was playing for a chance to win the estimated $363 million jackpot in the March 27 drawing.
Less than an hour before the numbers were drawn, Berhe was on his way home from work when he stopped at Sam’s Mart on Albemarle Road in Charlotte. There, he bought four Quick Pick Mega Millions tickets – three for $1 each, and a $2 Megaplier ticket.
After the drawing, Berhe and his brother looked up the winning numbers on the lottery’s website. The Megaplier ticket matched all five numbers to win $1 million. Had one of the $1 tickets matched all five numbers, Berhe would have won $250,000. He arrived at lottery headquarters in Raleigh on Monday to collect his prize money.
“It’s unreal,” he said. “A dream.”
Berhe said he spent the last month considering the purchase of a house and starting a business. He intends to use some of his after-tax winnings of $680,000 to help his family and save for the future.
The Mega Millions jackpot for the Tuesday, May 1 drawing is an estimated $102 million if claimed as an annuity, or $74.8 million cash.
Through June 30 of last year, Mecklenburg County education programs received more than $167.3 million in lottery funds. By law, those funds pay for teachers’ salaries in grades K-3, school construction, need-based college scholarships, and prekindergarten programs for at-risk four-year-olds.
To date, the N.C. Education Lottery has raised more than $2.35 billion for these initiatives statewide.