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RALEIGH, NC (NEWS RELEASE) -– Mikala Fields, a community college student from Oak Island in Brunswick County, says she plans to use the $1 million she won on a 20X The Money ticket to buy a home, a new car and invest for the future. She is the first player to win the top prize since the $10 game launched on May 16.

Fields, who plans to study nursing, was at home on Friday evening when she learned of her big win.

“I scratched it off a little and thought I had only won a dollar,” Fields said. “But then I went back and saw there was more to it. It was awesome. I didn’t think it was real. It still doesn’t feel real now.”

Top prize winners in the 20X The Money game have the option of claiming their prize as a 20-year annuity, or as a lump sum. Fields chose the $600,000 lump sum, which had an after-tax value of $408,003. As of Monday, five more top prizes of $1 million remain to be claimed in the 20X The Money game. She purchased the winning ticket at the Kangaroo Express on Yaupon Drive in Oak Island.

“It’s honestly just luck,” Fields said as she collected her winnings. “You actually can win.”

Since the lottery began through June 30, 2011, Brunswick County education programs received more than $15.8 million in lottery funds. By law, those funds pay for teachers’ salaries in grades K-3, school construction, prekindergarten programs for at-risk four-year-olds, and need-based college scholarships and financial aid. To date, the N.C. Education Lottery has raised more than $2.35 billion for these initiatives statewide.

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