A Southern Pines residents won one of 30 top prizes in the Millionaire Maker game.

A Southern Pines resident won one of 30 top prizes in the Millionaire Maker game.

A Southern Pines mechanic said he plans to “build another home and pay off some bills” after winning $1 million from a scratch-off ticket.

Tyler Reece Jr. bought the $30 ticket, a “Millionaire Maker” game, from a Food Lion in Fayetteville on Saturday, according to a news release from the N.C. Education Lottery. He scratched the ticket in the store’s parking lot.

“I looked down and couldn’t believe it,” Reece told the lottery commission. “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.”

Instead of accepting his winnings as annual payments of $50,000 for the next 20 years, Reece decided to collect a lump sum of $600,000 from the lottery’s headquarters in Raleigh. He netted about $424,500 after taxes.

Reece said the prize “means a lot” to him and his wife, who are both nearing retirement. He plans to share some of the money with other family members and “contribute to his community,” the lottery commission said.

Millionaire Maker launched in March with 30 top prizes, only nine of which had been claimed as of Monday. The approximate combined odds of winning $1 million are one in 360,000.

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Dusty Rhoades


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