RALEIGH, N.C. – After suffering damage from Hurricane Matthew and Florence, Mark Hall Jr. of Rowland said he plans to use a $200,000 lottery prize to rebuild his home and his dream of going to school, according to the North Carolina Education Lottery.
“The home I’m living in was damaged by both storms,” Hall said. “We still have repairs to do. I’ll use some of the money for that, but I also want to use the money to go to school. I wasn’t able to go after I graduated high school, but now I can. I do landscaping and electrical work right now, but after I go back to school, I could open my own business. This is going to open up a whole new world for me.”
Hall’s good fortune started Monday afternoon when he stopped for gas at the Sun-Do 711 on N.C. 711 in Lumberton.
While there, he bought a $5 All About The Bens scratch-off ticket.
“I only play the lottery once in a blue moon,” Hall said. “If I do play, I normally only get the $1 scratch-off tickets. Something told me to play higher, so I did.”
Hall took the ticket back to his van and started scratching.
“I wasn’t sure what I won at first,” Hall said. “I showed my dad and said, ‘I think I won $200’. He looked at the ticket and told me that I needed to look at it again. That’s when I saw the $200,000. My head started spinning. I was speechless.”
Hall claimed his prize Tuesday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh. After required state and federal tax withholdings, he took home $141,501.
“Thank you, Jesus!” Hall said, putting his hands in the air and waving his check. “I feel so blessed right now. Thank you!”
The game launched in June with four top prizes of $200,000. Hall won the last top prize.
Ticket sales from games like All About The Bens make it possible for the lottery to raise more than $700 million a year for education.