Iron worker's big win is the largest scratch-off lottery prize in the state
By Kate Northrop
KENLY, N.C. — On his way home from work, Wade Harmon purchased some lottery tickets at the Big Boy's Truck Stop on Bagley Road in Kenly. He originally stopped to try his luck on the Pick 3 and Pick 4 lottery games. His decision to tack on an additional $30 scratch-off ticket to his purchase awarded him the $10 million top prize, the largest scratch-off prize in the state.
In a news release by lottery officials on Saturday, Harmon delivered a retelling of his once-in-a-lifetime experience.
"I went home and fired up my grill and I said, 'Well I might as well scratch my ticket.' I looked down and I said, 'Woah!'"
After showing up at lottery headquarters in Raleigh to claim his prize on Friday, the lucky winner was given the option of either taking the $10 million as an annuity of $500,000 a year over 20 years or a lump sum of $6 million. Harmon chose to take the lump sum of $6 million. After federal and state taxes, he took home over $4.2 million.
When asked what he plans on doing with his big winnings, Harmon told officials that he intends on continuing to work, using the money for retirement in a few years. "I'll still be the same old me," he said. After the pandemic, he also wants to take his kids and family on a cruise, but only when it is safe enough to do so.
Harmon was one of the first three winners of the top $10 million prizes offered in the $300,000,000 Supreme Riches scratch-off game launched in April 2019. James Belich was the first to claim the top prize last May, followed by Joseph Keefer in September. The three winners all opted to take the lump sum payment over the $500,000 annuity over 20 years.
The game offers four $10 million top prizes and six $1 million prizes. Only one $10 million prize and one $1 million prize have yet to be claimed.
"I'm thankful, I really am," Harmon said. "I believe the Lord saved that for me. He had a reason or me to win this ticket. He's got plans for me."