REGIONAL: Mecklenburg County man wins $2 million on scratch-off

Published 9:08 am Monday, April 4, 2022

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Neal Badolato of Cornelius took a chance on a $20 scratch-off ticket and won a $2 million prize.

Badolato bought his lucky $2,000,000 Diamond Dazzler ticket from the Harris Teeter on Catawba Avenue in Cornelius.

When Badolato arrived at lottery headquarters Friday to collect his prize, he had a decision to make. He could choose to receive the prize as an annuity of $100,000 over 20 years or a lump sum of $1.2 million. He chose the lump-sum amount of $1.2 million and, after required state and federal tax withholdings, took home $852,126.

The $2,000,000 Diamond Dazzler game debuted in January with four top prizes of $2 million and eight $100,000 prizes. Two $2 million prizes and five $100,000 prizes remain to be claimed.

Ticket sales from scratch-off games make it possible for the lottery to raise more than $900 million per year for education. For details on how $62.6 million raised by the lottery made a difference in Mecklenburg County in 2021, visit and click on the “Impact” section.