For Elmer Stephens of Clayton, a $1 million Mega Millions win means he can retire early.
“That’s the best part of winning,” Stephens said. “This is just what I needed. I also want to take a trip to Scotland.”
Stephens beat the odds of 1 in 18.5 million to win $1 million in the Dec. 16 drawing. When he realized he won, he couldn’t believe it.
“I read the numbers,” Stephens said. “Then I read them again, and again, and again.”
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When he told his family, they thought he was joking. “Even after I showed them the ticket, they still didn’t believe me,” Stephens said.
He claimed his prize Monday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh. After required state and federal tax withholdings, he received $692,500.
Stephens bought the $1 Quick Pick ticket at the Speedway on N.C. 42 East in Clayton. It matched all five white balls drawn to win $1 million.