RALEIGH – Jerry Graham of High Point will never forget his 46th birthday after he bought a lucky lottery ticket that netted him $100,000 with his initial taxes paid.
Graham, a disabled truck driver, and a sister, Myoshia Mason, had gone to the grocery store to buy fish for his birthday party on Saturday when he tried his luck with a lottery game, $100,000 Taxes Paid. Graham said he let his sister scratch the card to see if they had a winner as they sat in the parking lot.
“She started yelling,” said Graham, whose birthday was Sunday. “I said, ‘Calm down. I don’t know what it is yet.’ You just keep looking at it. …You keep asking yourself, “Is this real?”
Graham is the second player to win the top prize in the new $100,000 Taxes Paid game. The $5 game marks the first time the lottery has offered players the chance to take home one of six after-tax prizes of $100,000. He purchased his winning ticket at the Brentwood Grocery on Wade Place in High Point.
The lottery pays the minimum mandatory required federal and state tax withholding as part of the top prizes awarded in the game. The actual top prize Graham claimed was $147,000.
Graham said he planned to use his winnings to help his sister and then put the rest into savings. “She’s been going through some hard times,” he said. “Lost her husband, and struggling with that.”
As of Monday, four top prizes remain to be claimed in the game. The NCEL advises winners to discuss with a tax professional any additional federal and state income taxes that may be due.
Two similar instant scratch-off games are now on sale: $5,000 Taxes Paid, a $1 game, and $30,000 Taxes Paid, a $2 game. The actual top prizes for each game are as follows: $7,353 for the $5,000 Taxes Paid game and $44,118 for the $30,000 Taxes Paid game.
Since the lottery began through June 30, 2011, Guildford County education programs received more than $102 million in lottery funds. By law, those funds pay for teachers’ salaries in grades K-3, school construction, need-based college scholarships and financial aid and prekindergarten programs for at-risk four-year-olds.