RALEIGH – Dale Briggs, a resident of Vass in Moore County, said he plans to use the $1 million prize he won playing the lottery to pay off his mortgage and send his two children to college. Briggs is the first to win one of five $1 million prizes playing the 50X The Cash game.

He learned of his big win on Sunday evening after purchasing his lucky ticket at the Exprezit store on U.S. 1 in Vass.

“I’m tickled to death,” Briggs said as he collected his winnings. “I feel awesome. This is a world-changing event for me.”

Top prize winners in the 50X The Cash game can elect to receive annual payments of $50,000 for 20 years or take a lump sum cash option of $600,000. Briggs chose the cash option and received a check for $408,003 after state and federal taxes were withheld.

Four of the top prizes remain to be claimed in the game as of Tuesday afternoon. 50X The Cash, a $10 game, is part of the lottery’s new multiplier-themed suite of instant scratch-off games that went on sale Aug. 6. The other three games are 20X The Cash, 10X The Cash and 5X The Cash.

As of June 2013, the lottery has raised more than $2.9 billion to support education programs. The lottery completed its seventh straight year of record sales and record earnings for the state on June 30, recording a 5.8 percent increase in sales and an estimated 4 percent increase in earnings. 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 $15.1 million in lottery dollars have made a difference in Moore County, go to the Where the Money Goes webpage at http://www.nc-educationlottery.org/beneficiary.aspx.