July 29 (UPI) -- A North Carolina man on the hunt for the final top prize in a scratch-off lottery game said he visited about 40 different stores before scratching off the $5 million winner.
Kevin Clark of Candler told North Carolina Education Lottery officials he read there was only one top prize remaining in the $5,000,000 Mega Cash scratch-off game, so he set off Thursday to buy as many of the $20 tickets as he could locate.
"I had a real good feeling it was going to be in the western part of the state," Clark said. "I went to about 40 different stores and bought every single last Mega Cash ticket I could find."
Clark's pricey gamble paid off when he scanned a ticket he purchased from the Stop N Go on U.S. 70 in Swannanoa.
"I scanned it with my phone and it told me to go see a retailer," he recalled. "So, I scratched it off and when I scratched it off I couldn't believe it! I started shaking. And then I cried."
Clark took the option of accepting his prize as a $3 million lump sum, which amounted to $2,122,506 after taxes.
"I'm a simple man and I mow grass," Clark said. "But I've always been interested in real estate, so my biggest plans with the majority of the money is to invest in real estate and some small businesses."