'Screamed at top of my lungs.' NC man wins final $2 million on Grand Money scratch-off ticket

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Monday, March 27, 2023
North Carolina man wins Powerball's First Millionaire of the Year
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A North Carolina man became the Powerball's first millionaire of 2023 at midnight New Year's Day winning $1 million.

A stop for gas and the decision to buy a scratch-off ticket landed a Johnston County man in the lottery winners' circle.

John Teague, of Selma, told NC Education Lottery officials he normally drives straight to work but decided to go to the Circle K on North Brightleaf Blvd, in Smithfield, to just get gas.

Teague said he decided to deviate from his normal purchase of a Cashword scratch-off and got the Grand Money--because he had an 'Overwhelming feeling' telling him to get that ticket.

His gut feeling and his deviation from routine all turned into a $2 million prize win for Teague.

"I was scratching in my truck and I'm like, this can't be real. The first thing I did was scream at the top of my lungs," Teague said.

When he stopped screaming, Teague said he called his wife and told her the good news

"I told her, 'Now I can get you the house that you deserve,'" Teague said.

Teague chose to receive the lump-sum amount of $1.2 million and took home $855,006 after required state and federal taxes were deducted.

"This really is a blessing for our family, Teague said. "Hallelujah."

In addition to buying a house, Teague told lottery officials he plans to pay off his truck and buy a new lawn mower.

The Grand Money game debuted in September 2021 with four top prizes of $2 million and six $100,000 prizes. Since Teague won the last $2 million prize. NCEL said the process to end the game will begin.

Also this week, a Wilson man won $100,000 after purchasing a $30 scratch-off $5 Million Ultimate game that premiered this month.

According to lottery officials, Abraham Hernandez of Wilson won the first $100,000 prize in the new scratch-off game.

Hernandez bought his lucky ticket from Mar-Mac Express Mart on U.S. 117 South in Dudley. He cashed his ticket in Monday and took home $71,259.

On Tuesday, some Food Lion co-workers in Johnston County won $1 million after going in on a Powerball ticket.

On Friday, Paul Harrison, of Clayton, won thousands after purchasing a $1 Cash 5 ticket at the Town Food Market Inc on US 70.

Harrison's ticket won him the whole Cash 5 $291,828 jackpot.

He matched all five white balls in the March 14 drawing. After required state and federal tax withholdings, NCEL officials said the lucky winner took home $207,928.

*Attached video is NC man winning $1 million Powerball in New Year's Day drawing

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