GREENSBORO, N.C. (WFMY) — A former North Carolina Marine just got a big cash bump to his military retirement fund.
Monte Hukill of High Point and his wife, Gage, are the first players to win the top prize of $10 million in the Extreme Millions scratch-off game.
Hukill, a Marine Corps veteran said he purchased the ticket at Fairway One Stop on Greensboro Road in High Point while returning home to watch Thursday Night Football.
He told lottery officials, “I would scratch a number and then look back at the game,” said Hukill. “I wasn’t really paying attention. But that sure did change.”
When Hukill realized he was a winner, he called out to his wife. “I walked over to the stairs and yelled, ‘Hey honey, you might want to come down here,’” said Hukill recalling the moment.
“My first initial thought was the kids,” said Gage, a high school English teacher. “But it wasn’t the kids! He showed me this ticket and I just thought, ‘No way. Things like this just don’t happen to ordinary people like us.’”
Putting the lucky ticket on the nightstand, the Hukills tried to sleep through the night.
“I think I slept with one eye open,” said Hukill. “Because I knew I had won, I just knew it.”
Hukill had the choice of taking a $10 million annuity that has 20 payments of $500,000 a year or a lump sum of $6 million. Hukill chose the lump sum and, after required state and federal tax withholdings, took home $4,170,069.
He plans on using the money to help his two kids pay for college and pay off his wife’s student loan debt.
“My wife went back to school at 42 to be a high school teacher,” Hukill said. “Education is important in our household. So once we get that settled, then we will think about what to do next.”