REGIONAL: Gaston County man got a $2 million treat while watching ‘Halloween’

Published 9:07 am Tuesday, October 25, 2022

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RALEIGH – Joshua King of Gastonia received a treat, not a trick, when his “Halloween” movie night with his son got interrupted by a $2 million lottery prize.

“We both just started crying,” King said. “I was honestly laughing and crying at the same time.”

King said he just finished a long day of work on Friday when he picked up his son and took him to get some snacks from Times Turnaround on South New Hope Road in Gastonia. He decided to add a $20 Mega 7’s scratch-off ticket as well.

“The last time that I bought a Mega 7’s ticket I won $200 so I decided to try that one again,” he said.

After they got home, King ordered hamburgers from Chili’s, turned on the “Halloween” movie, and started scratching his ticket, uncovering the first $2 million top prize in the new game.

“This is life-changing,” he said. “I called my parents and I was kind of hyperventilating when I was talking to them.”

When King arrived at lottery headquarters Monday 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.

“I want to use the money to help take care of my family,” King said. “Going to look into buying some property for the family to use.”

Mega 7’s debuted this month with four $2 million prizes and eight $100,000 prizes. Three $2 million prizes and seven $100,000 prizes remain to be claimed.

Ticket sales from scratch-off games make it possible for the lottery to raise more than $2.5 million a day on average for education. For details on how $14.7 million raised by the lottery made a difference in Gaston County in 2021, visit and click on the “Impact” section.