North Carolina father-to-be scores $1 million lottery prize

Impeccable timing for an expecting parent

By Kate Northrop

HICKORY, N.C. — The timing for a $1 million prize from scratch-off lottery game couldn’t be better for a North Carolina man who is expecting his first child in February.

Clayton Cook, of Hickory, was on his way to his grandmother’s house for dinner last Monday and stopped for gas at Advent Grocery on Old Shelby Road in Hickory. While there, he decided to try his luck with some instant lottery games.

He waited until he got to his grandmother’s house before he got down to scratching off his tickets. Things weren’t looking so good until he got to his final ticket, a $10,000,000 Colossal Cash he bought for $30. At that moment, his grandmother walked into the room.

“I was on the second line of the last ticket and I kept on scratching,” Cook recalled. “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!” she exclaimed, giving her grandson a big hug.

Cook visited Lottery headquarters at Raleigh on Thursday to claim his prize. He opted for taking a lump sum of $600,000 over an annuity of 20 payments of $50,000 a year and received $424,509 after federal and state tax withholdings.

“It’s indescribable really,” Cook told the North Carolina Education Lottery.

The expecting father plans on using the prize money to help prepare for the baby due to arrive in February and is also considering delving into a new business venture.

“I’ve been wanting to start a business with my brother,” Cook remarked. “So that might be one of the things that I invest in.”

As of now, there are three $1 million prizes remaining in the $10,000,000 Colossal Cash game out of the original 16 since the game was launched in August 2018. Only one top prize of $10,000,000 is left to be claimed.

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