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Man buys second winning $1M lottery ticket at same store in less than 2 years

Mar 13, 2019, 8:05 am

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North Carolina LotteryNorth Carolina Lottery: Man buys second winning $1M lottery ticket at same store in less than 2 yearsRating:

CONCORD, N.C. — A North Carolina man has won a second $1 million lottery prize at the same store in less than two years, lottery officials said Friday.

Terry Splawn won $1 million with a $150 Million Cash Explosion scratch-off ticket he bought Wednesday at Sam's Mini Stop on Old Charlotte Road in Concord, according to a North Carolina Education Lottery news release. The odds of winning $1 million in that game are 1 in 1.8 million, according to the lottery's website.

Splawn won his first $1 million prize in April 2017 with a Millionaire Bucks ticket he bought at the same store, lottery officials said. The odds of winning $1 million in that game were 1 in 1.248 million, odds listed on the lottery's website show. 

"What are the odds of this happening?" Splawn asked lottery officials when he claimed his prize at lottery headquarters in Raleigh on Thursday, according to the lottery news release. "I can't believe I won the lottery not once, but twice!... I just thought, 'This can't be happening.' "

"This is rare, but not impossibly rare," Jan Hannig, a UNC-Chapel Hill statistics professor, said of the odds of the same person winning two $1 million lottery prizes.

A 2016 investigation found that some NC lottery players won so often, in such big prize amounts, "that their good fortune defies logic."

Lottery experts quoted in the investigative reports said some winners were more than lucky and likely were gaming the system. In some cases, experts said, people buy winning tickets from players for less than the prize amount. The buyer cashes the winning ticket, while the actual player avoids the government's spotlight.

The North Carolina lottery withholds monies owed to state or local governments. These could include delinquent child support payments or back taxes.

The investigation found players who beat staggering odds so consistently that statisticians said chances of being that lucky were less than one in a trillion.

Security reviews

The lottery has a protocol in place to vet repeat wins by a player, a lottery spokeswoman said on Friday.

"The lottery has an experienced security team dedicated to investigating wins and making sure they're legitimate," spokeswoman Kathleen Jacob said in an email. "Because Terry Splawn won a prize of $100,000 or more, he is considered a big winner. A member of the security team meets with every big winner to determine whether an investigation is needed or not."

What will trigger an investigation? Such things as "if the back of the ticket is not signed correctly, a player is a retailer, a player works for a retailer, or a player is related to a retailer," Jacob said.

"If security decides that an investigation is needed, the player will not receive payment until the investigation is complete," she said.

An investigation could involve questioning the retailer, reviewing security footage, or "pulling system data to verify ticket information," Jacob said.

"Making sure wins are legitimate is one of the lottery's top priorities," she said. "Our players need to be able to trust the lottery, and trust that people are winning fairly."

Lottery officials are not aware of anyone related to Splawn who works at or owns the Concord store, according to Jacob.

Splawn could not be immediately reached on Friday.

In his latest win, Splawn could choose between an annuity with 20 payments of $50,000 a year, and a $600,000 lump sum. He chose the lump sum, according to lottery officials. After tax withholdings, he took home $424,506. 

"My wife spent most of the last prize remodeling our home," Splawn told lottery officials. "I'm keeping this one. I'm going to put it aside for a rainy day."

The $20 Cash Explosion game started in October with four top prizes of $4 million and six $1 million prizes. Three $4 million prizes and four $1 million prizes remain, according to the lottery.

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

Charlotte Observer, Lottery Post Staff

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8 comments. Last comment 3 years ago by Bleudog101.
Page 1 of 1
music*'s avatar - DiscoBallGlowing
Fresno, California
United States
Member #157849
August 2, 2014
3959 Posts

Congratulations to Terry Splawn! 

 Good work by the NCEL Security team. Do investigate big winners. You could be a good example for other States. 

 "We are all in this together!" 

    Think's avatar - lightbulb
    Marquette, MI
    United States
    Member #20540
    August 20, 2005
    1024 Posts

    This happened in Michigan a few years ago.  Same guy, same store, Two $1,000,000 scratch winners a couple years apart in Dexter Michigan so it is not unheard of.

      sully16's avatar - sharan
      United States
      Member #81738
      October 28, 2009
      99819 Posts

      Congrats Terry , enjoy.

      Happy National Meteor Watch Day. Thud

        maximumfun's avatar - Lottery-030.jpg

        United States
        Member #124610
        March 16, 2012
        3713 Posts

        What wonderful fortune for Terry Splawn!  I was actually surprised that he didn't opt for the annuity on this second prize (since the first one was already spent and it's only been 2 years...)  Regardless - wonderful news and lovely story!

          ekem6078's avatar - Lottery-050.jpg
          United States
          Member #88773
          March 23, 2010
          2424 Posts

           All I can say is " Put your hand up and then shake em over TENNESSEE"   cause nothing is coming our way, no time soon.  Cograts to you and yours Mr. Splawn.   Now it's time to TURN UPCheers

            brees2012's avatar - animal whale.jpg

            United States
            Member #125171
            March 26, 2012
            297 Posts

            What if , a person plays Mega and Powerball , and won , both Tickets .

            Lottery officials would've investigation .

            What's the chances , that would take place.

            Ready To Win ....

              joola99's avatar - Lottery-062.jpg

              United States
              Member #54488
              August 20, 2007
              3946 Posts

              Congrats to Terry on his win.

              As far as NCEL paying out only $424,000 on a million dollar winner?

              Do better.

                United States
                Member #163182
                January 22, 2015
                2917 Posts

                Congrats to Terry on his win.

                As far as NCEL paying out only $424,000 on a million dollar winner?

                Do better.

                Well NCEL has no choice since taxes were to be taken out. 


                Why don't you suggest to them to have a million dollar taxes paid ticket?