RALEIGH – Everette Sloop Jr. of Rockwell in Rowan County is the first player in the country to win $3 million playing the new Mega Millions game.
Sloop’s Quick Pick ticket matched all five white balls but not the Mega Ball in Friday’s drawing. Because he added the $1 Megaplier feature and the Megaplier in the drawing was 3X, the ticket was worth $3 million.
Sloop was sitting in his car on Saturday morning when he learned of his win, which beat odds of one in 18.4 million.
“I walked out to the car to call the lottery hotline because I don’t get very good reception inside the house,” Sloop said. “I listened to the numbers and just sat there. I called five times just to make sure I had really won.”
Sloop plans to use his winnings, worth $2,040,000 after state and federal taxes were withheld, to purchase a new house, a car for his mother and take care of his family. He purchased the lucky ticket at the Kangaroo Express on East Main Street.
“I have the best family anyone could ask for,” Sloop said. “It feels great to be able to take care of them. I’m going to start a college fund for my children. This is just wonderful.”
Sloop’s ticket was just one gold Mega Ball away from winning the jackpot. Because no ticket sold nationwide matched all six numbers, the jackpot has grown to a $205 million annuity for Tuesday’s drawing. If claimed as a one-time cash payment, the jackpot would be worth $110.6 million.
Changes to Mega Millions – including a new number matrix, bigger starting jackpots, and bigger prizes for matching all five white balls – went into effect in October. Previously, Sloop’s ticket would have been worth $750,000.
Mega Millions drawings are held at approximately 10:59 p.m. on Tuesday and Friday each week. Two North Carolina players have won Mega Millions jackpots since the game started here in 2010.
As of September 2013, the lottery has raised more than $3 billion to support education programs. Lottery dollars support teachers’ salaries in grades K-3, school construction and repair projects, prekindergarten programs for at-risk four-year-olds, college scholarships and financial aid based on need and digital learning initiatives.
To see how more than $32.5 million in lottery dollars have made a difference in Rowan County, go to the Where the Money Goes webpage at http://www.nc-educationlottery.org/beneficiary.aspx.