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Kevin Simpson of Stoneville stopped to get gas for his lawnmower and walked away the winner of a $1 million scratch-off prize, according to a news release from the NC Education Lottery.

Simpson, a retired firefighter who now works for Goodyear, bought two $20 scratch-off tickets at the J-Mart on East Stadium Drive in Eden after his lawnmower ran out of gas.

He scratched the "$150 Million Cash Explosion" tickets while still in the parking lot, he told lottery officials. The first wasn't a winner, but the second one was.

Simpson claimed his prize at lottery headquarters in Raleigh on Monday. He chose to take the $1 million as an annuity of $50,000 per year over 20 years, rather than in a lump sum. After state and federal tax withholdings, Simpson received $35,381 as his first payment.

“I’m just going to continue working,” he said in the news release. “It’s what I’ve been doing for 20 years. This is for my retirement.”

The $150 Million Cash Explosion game launched in October 2018 with four top prizes of $4 million and six $1 million prizes. Two $4 million prizes and two $1 million prizes remain to be claimed.

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