A first try playing an instant game led to a $1 million win for Erika Aparicio, a greenhouse worker from Charlotte.
Aparicio said she had played the Mega Millions game once before, but decided to try the lottery’s 50X The Cash game after watching her friends buy instant tickets. She bought her lucky ticket at the Quick Trip on Central Avenue in Charlotte.
“I couldn’t believe it because it was my first time buying a ticket and scratching it off,” Aparicio said. “It was too much emotion. I still can’t believe it right now.”
Top prize winners in the 50X The Cash game can elect to receive annual payments of $50,000 for 20 years or take a lump sum cash option of $600,000. Aparicio chose the cash option and received a check for $415,203 after state and federal taxes were withheld. She said she had no immediate plans for her prize money.
Two of the game’s $1 million top prizes remain to be claimed as of Monday morning. 50X The Cash, a $10 game, is part of the lottery’s multiplier-themed suite of instant scratch-off games that went on sale last August. The other three games are 20X The Cash, 10X The Cash and 5X The Cash.
Ticket sales for instant games have made it possible for the lottery to raise more than $3.19 billion for education programs statewide. For details on how more than $254 million in lottery funds have made a difference in Mecklenburg County, click on the “Where the Money Goes” tab on the lottery’s website.