North Carolina Education Lottery

A Rowan man stopped for gas – and his life was changed forever.

Salisbury’s Tyler Wagoner bought a $5 scratch off ticket during the stop, and won $25. He was about to leave when another ticket caught his eye – and turned out to be a $1 million winner, according to the North Carolina Education Lottery.

“This win means I can move my dad in with me,” said Wagoner, a chef at Danny’s Place in Rockwell, according to a release. “Before I was worrying about having enough gas to get places. Now, I’m set. I can start taking care of stuff.”

Wagoner bought his ticket at the Circle K on East Main Street in Rockwell.

Why did he opt for the second ticket?

“I was leaving and this ticket caught my eye,” Wagoner stated in a news release. “It was in the #6 spot, which is my lucky number. I thought, “Might as well.” I scratched it right there and saw I had won $1 million. I was just like, ‘Wow, I can’t believe it.’”

He called his dad right away to share his good fortune.

“We’re always joking to each other about winning the lottery,” he said in the release. “When I called him up, he thought it was a joke. He made me send him a picture of me holding the ticket up to my face before he would believe me!”

Wagoner claimed his prize Thursday. He had a choice of taking the $1 million as an annuity of $50,000 over 20 years or a lump sum of $600,000. He chose the lump sum and after tax withholdings took home $424,503, according to the release.

The $10 ticket launched in September with five top prizes of $1 million. Since Wagoner claimed the last top prize, the lottery will take steps to end the game.

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