Darrell Riley of Cerro Gordo had a chance to spin a giant prize wheel Wednesday at the Bigger $pin Live Event and he watched in anticipation as the wheel landed on a $500,000 prize.
“I never imagined winning a half-million dollars,” Riley said.
Riley, a 66-year-old construction worker, first got lucky when he bought his $10 Bigger $pin scratch-off from the Circle K on Long Branch Road in Dunn.
“I didn’t know what I won, I just called my wife and said ‘Sweetie, I may have won some money,’” Riley said.
In his big spin Wednesday, Riley won $500,000. After required state and federal tax withholdings, he took home $355,316.
He said he plans to give some of his winnings to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, pay some bills, and go to Hawaii this Thanksgiving with his wife.
“We never took a honeymoon trip so that’s what our Hawaii trip will be,” Riley said.
Riley is the fifth person to get a chance to win one of the $2 million prizes. At the first event in November, a retired Greensboro postal worker won $900,000 and a Durham cook won $400,000. At the second event in January, a manufacturing plant worker from Fayetteville won $500,000. At the third event in July, a retired certified nursing assistant from Mount Gilead became the first $2 million winner.
One more chance to spin the prize wheel for a $2 million prize is up for grabs in a second-chance drawing. All Bigger $pin tickets can be entered into the drawing. The deadline for entries is Oct. 16 and the drawing is scheduled for Oct. 19.
State grants totaling $15 million, using money raised by the lottery, are being distributed to Columbus County and Whiteville City Schools with school construction needs. The lottery brings in $2.5 million a day on average in North Carolina.