RALEIGH – Justin Pierce, a graphic designer from Jamestown, said he plans to start his own business after winning a $1 million prize in the Maximum Green game.

Pierce bought the lucky $10 instant ticket at the Quick Mart on West Main Street on Sunday evening.

“I was just shocked,” said Pierce of his big win. “When the clerk scanned the ticket, she said ‘Merry Christmas to you.’ It’s a lot of money and I honestly still don’t feel like it’s real.”

Top prize winners in the Maximum Green game can elect to receive annual payments of $50,000 for 20 years or take a lump sum cash option of $600,000.

Pierce chose the cash option and received a check for $408,003 after state and federal taxes were withheld.

“I’m going to open up ‘Justin Pierce Designs,’ a graphics and signage company,” Pierce said as he collected his winnings. “I’m also going to go on a nice vacation, help out my family and invest whatever I can.”

One $1 million top prize remains to be claimed in the game as of Monday afternoon.

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, need-based college scholarships and financial aid and digital learning initiatives.

To see how more than $153.6 million in lottery dollars have made a difference in Guilford County, go to the Where the Money Goes webpage at http://www.nc-educationlottery.org/beneficiary.aspx.