Concord man wins $5 million in Locust

Published 11:12 am Friday, May 31, 2024

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RALEIGH – Eric Walker of Concord had a feeling he should buy a $30 lottery ticket and his instinct proved correct when he won a $5 million prize that he will collect in $250,000 annual payments for 20 years.

“Something was just telling me to pick that ticket,” he recalled.

Walker bought his lucky 200X The Cash ticket from the Food Lion on Main Street in Locust where he works. He bought the ticket from the store’s lottery vending machine before his shift started.

“When I scratched it, I couldn’t believe what I saw,” he said.

Walker won the first $5 million top prize in the 200X The Cash game. He called his wife right away to tell her the news.

“She just kept saying, ‘What, what, what,’” he laughed.

When Walker arrived Thursday to collect his prize, he had a decision to make. He could choose to receive the prize as an annuity of $250,000 over 20 years or a lump sum of $3 million.

Walker chose the annuity of $250,000 and received the first of the 20 payments on Thursday. After required state and federal tax withholdings, he took home $178,759. For the next 19 years, he’ll get a check for $250,000 until the full $5 million prize is paid.

“At the end of the day, taking the annuity made the most sense for us,” he said.

He plans to use this year’s winnings to pay off his mortgage.

The 200X The Cash game debuted in March with five top prizes of $5 million and 10 $100,000 prizes. Four $5 million prizes and nine $100,000 prizes remain to be claimed.