March 14, 2014. Cindy Reeves, a stockroom clerk from Wilmington, said she has worked hard all her life. Sunday morning, the Port City native scratched off the prize of a lifetime – $1 million – on the first lottery ticket she ever played.
Reeves bought her $20 ticket for the $4,000,000 Multiplier Spectacular game at the Shop-N-Go on Market Street in Wilmington and scratched it off in her car. As a new player she was unsure whether or not she had won a prize. So she called her boyfriend, Rick Jocheim, who plays lottery games.
“I have the number 16 and one of the winning numbers is 16,” she told him.
“What does it say under the 16?” Jocheim said.
“It says $1 million,” Reeves replied.
“Then you won $1 million!” Jocheim said.
The couple came to Raleigh Wednesday to collect the prize money. Winners of $1 million in the game have the option of claiming it in $50,000 payments as a 20-year annuity or a one-time lump sum of $600,000.
“I’m going to pay off everything I owe,” said Reeves, who chose the cash option. She said that her after-tax winnings of $415,206 would also allow her to take a trip to Disney World and visit the North Carolina Mountains with her sister.
“She really deserves this,” said Jocheim. “It could not have happened to a better person.”
$4,000,000 Multiplier Spectacular started March 4 with four top prizes of $4 million and 10 prizes of $1 million. Reeves is the first to beat odds of 1 in 1 million to win $1 million playing the game. All four top prizes of $4 million remain unclaimed.
Ticket sales have made it possible for the lottery to raise more than $3.19 billion for education programs statewide. For details on how more than $50.2 million in lottery funds have made a difference in New Hanover County, click on the “Where the Money Goes” tab on the lottery’s website.