Feb. 05--A South Carolina man drove across the border to play Carolina Keno, his favorite NC lottery game, when, on a lark, he also bought a scratch-off ticket in a different game, NC Education Lottery officials said in a news release Tuesday morning.
Mark Murphy of Lancaster is glad he did, as he won a $1 million prize with the $10,000,000 Colossal Cash scratch-off ticket he bought Friday night at Dueys Stop & Shop on West South Main Street in Waxhaw, Union County, lottery officials said in the release.
"I enjoy playing Keno," Murphy told lottery officials when he claimed his prize at lottery headquarters in Raleigh on Monday, according to the release. "I play there on a regular basis, but I rarely buy scratch-off tickets. I don't know what caused it, but for some reason, I just felt lucky that night."
According to the lottery's website, Carolina Keno "is a fast-paced lottery draw-style game ... with a chance to win great cash prizes every five minutes. For each Keno drawing, 20 numbers out of 80 will be selected as winning numbers and displayed on the monitor. You can decide how many of these numbers (called spots) you will try to match and exactly which numbers you will try to match."
"I didn't believe it at first," Murphy, who works in real estate, told lottery officials. "I started freaking out. I showed the clerk and told him, 'I just won $1 million!' It was wild."
Murphy could choose from an annuity with 20 payments of $50,000 a year, or a $600,000 lump sum. He chose the lump sum, lottery officials said. After state and federal tax withholdings, he took home $424,509, according to the release.
Murphy plans to pay his mortgage. "I'll be able to pay off all my debt," Murphy told lottery officials. "It's just incredible. One day you wake up and suddenly you don't have to worry about it anymore. It's a life-changing experience."
The odds of winning any Keno prize range from 1 in 3.86 million to 16.63 million, according to the lottery's website. "Approximate odds to win the top prize on the 10 Spot game are 1 in 8.91 million," according to the website.
In October, a woman from Hickory, North Carolina, won a $1 million Colossal Cash prize after she was driving to town for fast food and decided to stop for a lottery ticket along the way, the Observer reported at the time.
Three top $10 million prizes and 11 $1 million prizes remain in the $30 ticket game, according to the news release. The game started in August with four $10 million and 16 $1 million prizes.
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