Double-lucky player claims he won on the same number twice
By Kate Northrop
Most players can't even begin to imagine what it would be like to win a million dollars, but one North Carolina man is lucky enough to have experienced the exciting feeling twice after winning two $1 million prizes in the span of one year.
Willard Weber's lucky streak is running a little bit longer after he won not one, but two prizes worth $1 million within one year. The last time the Littleton resident picked up a winning ticket was just back in August 2020.
"I never thought it would ever happen to me," the double-lucky winner told the North Carolina Lottery. "But it did. I'm very happy."
Last August, Weber and his coworker, Dean Glover of Littleton, jointly purchased a top prize-winning "Ruby Red 7's" scratch-off ticket from Minit Chek convenience store on West Main Street in Littleton and split a $4 million prize. After taxes were withheld from the cash prize they opted for, they each received $1.2 million.
With the prize money, Weber said that his main goal was to purchase an antique convertible car. The rest would go in the bank.
Not even a full year later, the Lottery checked back in with Weber about his second prize, in addition to whether he accomplished his original goal.
"I did buy that Cadillac El Dorado," he confirmed in a press release.
Last week, Weber headed to the Information Grocery convenience store on U.S. 158 in Halifax and picked out a scratch-off from the $30 "Millionaire Maker" game, which just launched at the beginning of the month. However, he didn't fully realize it was a huge winner until he had a store clerk double check it.
"I didn't even know I won," he recalled. "I missed the number, so I didn't see it when I scratched it off. That's the second time. I didn't see it the first time either."
"I was scanning all my old tickets, and one of them said I had to take it to Lottery headquarters," Weber explained. When he asked a cashier to take a look at the ticket as a precaution, he confirmed some rather remarkable news.
"That's when we noticed 23 matched," Weber said. "I couldn't believe it was the exact same number I hit on last time, either."
Again faced with the decision to take the top prize either as an annuity or a lump sum, Weber chose the cash payout once more and walked away with $424,509 after federal and state taxes were withheld.
Since he already has an antique convertible car in his possession thanks to his first big win, the second prize is going straight into savings, he said.
According to the Lottery, the "Millionaire Maker" game is the first scratch-off to offer 30 $1 million prizes. Although this is Weber's second big win, he is the very first player to win one of those top prizes of $1 million.
Now, 29 top prizes remain in the game, along with nine out of ten second prizes of $100,000 and 19 out of 20 third prizes of $20,000.