On his way to work on Saturday, Tyler Reece, Jr., of Southern Pines, decided to try his luck on a Millionaire Maker ticket and became the latest winner of a $1 million top prize, according to a press release from the N.C. Education Lottery.
“I already had it in my mind that I was going to purchase a ticket and it just happened to be that one,” he said. “I figured it would be a great ticket to purchase and take a chance on.”
Reece, who works as a maintenance mechanic, purchased his winning $30 ticket from the Food Lion on Andrews Road in Fayetteville.
Sitting in the parking lot, Reece scratched his ticket to reveal its $1 million prize.
“I looked down and couldn’t believe it,” he recalled. “I was just trying to keep a level head. I always said if I did win something that big, I’m going to remain the same person that everybody has come to know. I’m not going to let it change me.”
He had the option of taking the $1 million as an annuity of $50,000 a year over 20 years, or a lump sum of $600,000. Reece chose the lump sum of $600,000 and took home $424,509 after required federal and state tax withholdings.
With the prize money, Reece and his wife plan to build another home and pay off some bills. “It means a lot to us because we were just talking about how close we were getting to retirement,” he said.
Reece also plans to contribute to his community and share some of the prize money with family.