RALEIGH – Wake County lottery players are on a lucky streak. Three players have claimed big instant scratch-off prizes in the past four days, including two $100,000 wins and a $4 million win.
The $4 million claim came Monday morning when Rebecca MacNeill of Raleigh claimed the final top prize in the $4,000,000 Cash Blowout game on Monday. She purchased the lucky $20 instant scratch-off ticket at the Han-Dee Hugo on Falls of Neuse Road in Raleigh.
Players who win the game’s top prize have the option of claiming it as a 20-year annuity or a lump sum option. MacNeill chose the annuity option and will receive $200,000 a year for 20 years. She received her first check, worth $136,006 after state and federal taxes were withheld, on Monday. As of this afternoon, one $1 million prize remains to be claimed in the game, which launched in January of 2012.
Later on Monday morning, Rolesville carpenter Francis Bruno said he couldn’t sleep after scratching off the $100,000 top prize on his Mega Bucks ticket on Sunday night. He learned of his big win while standing inside the Food Lion on South Main Street in Rolesville, where he made his lucky purchase.
“I saw I had won but I figured it was only five bucks,” Bruno said. “Then I saw the prize underneath the matching number. I couldn’t believe it. I still haven’t grasped it yet. I haven’t slept at all since, but this still feels good.”
Bruno plans to use his winnings, worth 68,001 after state and federal taxes were withheld, to purchase a new car and pay bills.
Matthew Allen, a sales manager for Lowes Home Improvement in Wake Forest, and his wife Colleen plan to use the $100,000 they won playing Mega Bucks to invest, buy countertops for their new home and take their first trip to Las Vegas.
On the evening of Sept. 5, Matthew and Colleen were driving to a get-together to visit some friends when they stopped for gas at the Sheetz on U.S. 1 in Youngsville. While there, Matthew decided to purchase two $5 Mega Bucks tickets. He got back in the car and started scratching the tickets while riding in the passenger seat.
“She was driving and I said ‘Colleen, I think I just won a hundred thousand dollars’,” Matthew said. “Then I looked at it again and screamed ‘We just won a hundred thousand dollars!’ It was crazy. We were both laughing and crying. Honestly, it still hasn’t hit us entirely.“
After state and federal taxes were withheld, the Allen’s received a check for $68,001.
“We’re happy and excited,” Matthew said. “This gives us a great start. We won’t have to struggle. This feels awesome.”
As of Monday afternoon, eight top prizes remain to be claimed in the Mega Bucks game.
Wake County’s lucky streak began last Wednesday when Charles Reffitt of Cary beat odds of 1 in 5.1 million when he matched all five white balls in the Sept. 4 Powerball drawing, winning a $1 million prize.
As of June 2013, the lottery has raised more than $2.9 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 $189.4 million in lottery dollars have made a difference in Wake County, go to the Where the Money Goes webpage at http://www.nc-educationlottery.org/beneficiary.aspx.