RALEIGH – Martin Hughes, a resident of Fayetteville is the first player to win one of four $3 million prizes playing the $120 Million Cash game.

“This is going to change my life,” Hughes said. “I’m going to buy a new home, invest in a company and save the rest for my future.”

Hughes was outside of the 401 Lucky Stop on Fayetteville Road in Raeford when he scratched off his big winning ticket Tuesday morning.

“I was in the parking lot eating crackers and drinking coffee when I started scratching the ticket,” Hughes said. “I thought I had won my money back, but then I saw the actual prize. I sat there for twenty minutes, taking my glasses on and off and re-checking the ticket. Then I just felt numb. It was just unreal.”

Top prize winners in the $120 Million Cash game can elect to receive annual payments of $150,000 for 20 years or take a lump sum cash option of $1.8 million. Hughes chose the cash option and received a check for $1,224,006 after state and federal taxes were withheld.

“This is crazy,” Hughes said as he held his check for the first time. “I’m so ecstatic. I feel like a burden has been lifted off of me. This answers a lot of ‘what if’ questions for me. It really came at a good time.”

As of Wednesday morning, three more $3 million prizes and six $1 million prizes remain to be claimed in the $120 Million Cash game.

Ticket sales for games such as $120 Million Cash have made it possible for the lottery to raise more than $2.9 billion for education programs statewide. Details on how more than $97.9 million in lottery funds have made a difference in Cumberland County are available on the “Where the Money Goes” page on the lottery’s website.