Matthew White, Jr. of Charlotte enjoys his routines. He likes to try his luck matching numbers playing jackpot games, and then checks for the winning numbers in the newspaper on his morning break.
For White, the morning after Tuesday’s Mega Millions drawing was anything but routine. He was comparing his numbers when a coworker noticed they matched all five white balls in the drawing.
“Congratulations, you’re a millionaire!” the coworker said.
Right away, White called his wife, Maggie, to share the good news. The Whites did not waste any time coming to lottery headquarters in Raleigh to collect the prize money.
“This is a blessing,” he said. “I never had any idea this would happen to us.”
White purchased the lucky ticket at the Fuel Mart on West Boulevard in Charlotte. He is the 18th North Carolina Mega Millions player to win at least $1 million since the game came here in 2010.
Originally from Kingstree, S.C., White served as a soldier in Vietnam and retired from the Navy. Living in Charlotte, he has worked as a supervisor and a technician for an electrical company that services industrial autotransformers.
The couple said the after-tax winnings of $692,000 will allow them to pay off all their bills, go on more fishing trips, and take a trip to San Diego.
Before winning the lottery, Matthew had already planned to call it a career in December, while Maggie still intends to continue working as a certified nursing assistant.
“When we do retire, we can live more comfortably,” he added.
Ticket sales have made it possible for the lottery to raise more than $3.19 billion for education programs statewide. Net proceeds are used for prekindergarten programs for at-risk four-year-olds, teachers’ salaries in grades K-3, school construction and need-based college scholarships and financial aid and digital learning. For details on how more than $254.5 million in lottery funds have made a difference in Mecklenburg County, click on the “Where the Money Goes” tab on the lottery’s website.