A lottery ticket worth $2 million? NC man suspected it was fake and called his mom

Shock and disbelief is understandable for any lottery winner, but one North Carolina man says his reaction went beyond mere doubt when the winnings climbed to $2 million.

“I thought that I was looking at something very wrong,” Brian Heitmann of Winston-Salem said in a release from the N.C. Education Lottery.

“I FaceTimed my mother and then I ran across the street to have my neighbor look at it.”

The ticket was definitely real, and he definitely won $2 million.

Heitmann presented his 100X The Cash ticket Wednesday at the lottery office in Raleigh and walked out with a big check.

“He had the choice of taking an annuity of $100,000 a year for 20 years or a lump sum of $1.2 million,” lottery officials said. “Heitmann chose the $1.2 million lump sum.”

The prize was whittled to $849,006 after deductions for state and federal taxes, officials said.

Heitmann beat odds of 1 in 1.2 million in the game, which was launched on New Year’s Eve. The ticket cost him $20 and was purchased at a Speedway convenience store in Winston-Salem, officials said.

He didn’t offer specifics on plans to spend the money.

“Possibly some sort of philanthropic work. Charities, friends, family,” Heitmann said in the release.

“I’ve always been very fortunate in life, even before this, and I’ve tried to share that. This just makes me even more fortunate, so I’ll just continue down that road.”

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Mark Price has been a reporter for The Charlotte Observer since 1991, covering beats including schools, crime, immigration, LGBTQ issues, homelessness and nonprofits. He graduated from the University of Memphis with majors in journalism and art history, and a minor in geology.

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