HICKORY, N.C. (The Charlotte Observer) - A North Carolina man was nearing the end of his luck scratching off lottery tickets at his grandmother’s house when he hit a $1 million jackpot, lottery officials said.
“I got to my grandma’s and was scratching them off and it wasn’t looking so good,” Clayton Cook of Hickory told lottery officials when he claimed the prize at lottery headquarter in Raleigh on Thursday.
“I hadn’t won anything until I came to my last ticket,” Cook said, according to a lottery news release.
When his grandmother entered the room, he was on the second line of his 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!’
“'Oh my Lord!'” Cook said his grandmother replied before giving him a hug.
He beat odds of 1 in 2.83 million, according to the lottery website.
Cook bought his winning Colossal Cash ticket for $30 on his way to supper at his grandmother’s Monday night. He stopped for gas at Advent Grocery on Old Shelby Road in Hickory and bought a few other scratch-offs there, too, according to the lottery.
“It’s indescribable, really,” Cook told lottery officials.
Cook could have taken the $1 million as an annuity of 20 payments of $50,000 a year, or a $600,000 lump sum, officials said. He chose the lump sum, netting $424,509 after taxes.
“I’ve been wanting to start a business with my brother,” Cook told lottery officials. “So that might be one of the things that I invest in.”
He’s also expecting his first child in February and said the money “will help prepare for the baby.”