North Carolina man wins $1 million with scratch-off ticket: ‘I know everything is going to be fine now’

Published 4:20 pm Saturday, February 3, 2024

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The North Carolina Education Lottery has reported that a Duplin County man has won $1 million on a scratch-off ticket.

Michael Cherry, of Pink Hill, no longer has concerns about paying for his daughter’s college education after winning a $1 million scratch-off prize. “When she goes to college, she won’t have to worry about student aid or nothing,” he said. “When she graduates, she will be debt-free.”

Cherry bought his lucky $10 Million Spectacular ticket on Tuesday, January 16, 2024 from Quinn’s General Store on N.C. 41 North in Pink Hill.

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“It was a shocker,” he recalled. “I just looked at it in disbelief.”

Cherry said he couldn’t sleep that night as he tried to wrap his head around what happened. “I was just lying in bed thinking, ‘I can’t believe I just won a million dollars,’” he said. “It’s a blessing.”

When Cherry arrived at lottery headquarters, he had a decision to make. He could choose to receive his prize as an annuity of $50,000 over 20 years or a lump sum of $600,000. He chose the lump sum of $600,000 and, after required state and federal tax withholdings, took home $429,014.

In addition to paying for his daughter’s college, Cherry plans to use the money to take a family trip to Jamaica to celebrate his daughter graduating high school, pay off his cars, and put the rest in savings.

“I know everything is going to be fine now,” he said. “It is a relief.”

The $10 Million Spectacular game debuted in December with five top prizes of $10 million, 20 prizes of $1 million and 20 prizes of $100,000. Five $10 million prizes, 16 $1 million prizes and 18 $100,000 prizes remain to be claimed.

For details on how funds raised by the lottery made an impact on education programs across the state last year, go to and click on the “Impact” section.