Everette Sloop Jr. of Rockwell was sitting in his car on Saturday morning when he learned he’d won $3 million playing the new Mega Millions lottery game.
The Rowan County man became the first person in the country to win $3 million in the game, beating odds of 1 in 18.4 million, lottery officials said in a news release.
His Quick Pick ticket matched all five white balls but not the Mega Ball in Friday’s drawing. Because he added the $1 Megaplier feature and the Megaplier in the drawing was 3X, the ticket was worth $3 million, lottery officials said.
“I walked out to the car to call the lottery hotline because I don’t get very good reception inside the house,” Sloop said in the news release issued by the North Carolina Education Lottery. “I listened to the numbers and just sat there. I called five times just to make sure I had really won.”
Sloop’s winnings were worth $2.04 million after state and federal taxes were withheld.
He plans to purchase a new house, a car for his mother and take care of his family. He bought the lucky ticket at the Kangaroo Express on East Main Street in Rockwell.
“I have the best family anyone could ask for,” Sloop said in the news release. “It feels great to be able to take care of them. I’m going to start a college fund for my children. This is just wonderful.”
Sloop’s ticket was just one gold Mega Ball away from winning the jackpot. Because no ticket sold nationwide matched all six numbers, the jackpot has grown to a $205 million annuity for Tuesday’s drawing. If claimed as a one-time cash payment, the jackpot would be worth $110.6 million.
Changes to Mega Millions – including a new number matrix, bigger starting jackpots and bigger prizes for matching all five white balls – took effect in October. Previously, Sloop’s ticket would have been worth $750,000.
Mega Millions drawings are held at 10:59 p.m. every Tuesday and Friday. Two N.C. players have won Mega Millions jackpots since the game started here in 2010, lottery officials said.
As of September 2013, the lottery has raised more than $3 billion to support education programs. Lottery dollars support teachers’ salaries in grades K-3, school construction and repair projects, prekindergarten programs for at-risk 4-year-olds, college scholarships and financial aid based on need, and digital learning initiatives.
Marusak: 704 358-5036