HICKORY, N.C. — Clayton Cook, of Hickory, was heading to his grandmother’s house for Monday night dinner when he bought a $30 ticket and won $1 million, according to an NC Education Lottery news release.
“It’s indescribable, really,” Cook said.
While stopping for gas at Advent Grocery on Old Shelby Road in Hickory, he bought a few scratch-offs, including a $10,000,000 Colossal Cash ticket.
“I got to my grandma’s and was scratching them off, and it wasn’t looking so good,” Cook said. “I hadn’t won anything until I came to my last ticket.”
Just as he was about to start scratching, Cook’s grandma walked in the room.
“I was on the second line of the last ticket, and I kept on scratching,” Cook said. “There was just about a minute of silence and about that time I looked right at her, and I said, ‘Grandma, I just won $1 million.’ She said, ‘Oh my Lord!’ and gave me a big hug.”
Cook claimed his prize Thursday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh.
He had the choice of taking the $1 million as an annuity of 20 payments of $50,000 a year or a lump sum of $600,000.
He opted for the lump sum and took home $424,509 after required state and federal tax withholdings.
“I’ve been wanting to start a business with my brother,” Cook said. “So that might be one of the things that I invest in.”
Cook is also expecting his first child in February and said his prize money will help prepare for the baby.