RALEIGH – Clarence Wright, a postman from Greensboro, plans to use the $1 million prize he won playing Mega Millions to pay off his home and save for the future.
Wright’s Quick Pick ticket matched all five white balls in Tuesday’s drawing, which were 4-23-26-62-69. The lucky ticket, which beat odds of 1 in 18.4 million, was sold at the Spartan BP on South Aycock Street in Greensboro.
“I actually scanned the ticket on Thursday,” Wright said. “The scanner said that I needed to claim my prize at the lottery. I thought I had won a few hundred dollars, so I put the ticket back in my wallet. Then this morning I went to Wal-mart and got a haircut and then went to the Greensboro lottery office. That’s when they told me what I had won. I was walking around with $1 million in my pocket the whole time.”
Wright’s win is the first $1 million Mega Millions prize in North Carolina since the game was updated in October. Changes to the game included a new number matrix, bigger starting jackpots and bigger prizes for matching all five white balls. In November, Everette Sloop from Rowan County became the first player in the country to win $3 million playing the new game.
After state and federal taxes were withheld, Wright collected a check for $692,000.
“I tell you this feels great,” Wright said as he claimed his prize on Friday. “You play the lottery, but you never think you’re going to win. It’s hard to believe, but I’m going to believe it all the way back to Greensboro.”
Tonight’s estimated jackpot annuity is $41 million or a one-time lump sum payment of $22.1 million. North Carolina players have won two Mega Millions jackpots, ranging from $12 million to $57 million.
Since the lottery began through June 30, 2013, Guilford County education programs have received more than $153.6 million in lottery funds. For more information on how lottery funds benefit education, click on the “Where the Money Goes” tab on the lottery’s website.
As of September 2013, the N.C. Education Lottery has raised more than $3 billion for education.