Wilmington man thought he was dreaming after $2 million win

“I want to help out a struggling entrepreneur,” Robbins said. “In other words, passing it forward.”
Handee Hugo's employees holding up the Ultimate 7's scratch off that won a Wilmington man $2 million. (Photo: Juliana Lane/WWAY)

RALEIGH, NC (WWAY) – John Robbins of Wilmington, after winning $2 million on a $20 scratch-off, said he asked a coworker to check his ticket to make sure he wasn’t dreaming.

“He looked at it and said, ‘Man you got it. This is the big one,’” Robbins said.

Robbins, 54, bought his lucky Ultimate 7’s ticket from the Han-Dee Hugo’s on North College Road in Wilmington.

Robbins said he tried to stay calm after his coworker confirmed the win.

“I had to try to keep my composure,” Robbins said. “I didn’t want to alarm too many people.”

When Robbins arrived at lottery headquarters to collect his prize, he had a decision to make.

He could choose to receive the prize as an annuity of $100,000 over 20 years or a lump sum of $1.2 million.

He chose the lump-sum amount of $1.2 million and, after required state and federal tax withholdings, took home $852,126.

Robbins said he wants to use some of the money to give back to the community, including the Excite Credit Union in Wilmington.

He said he spent years carrying two jobs and, even though he had numerous business ideas, he didn’t have the money at the time to follow through on them.

“I want to help out a struggling entrepreneur,” Robbins said. “In other words, passing it forward.”

The Ultimate 7’s game debuted in May 2021 with four top prizes of $2 million and eight $100,000 prizes.

Robbins won the last $2 million prize in the game.

All top prizes have now been claimed and the lottery will now take steps to end the game.

Ticket sales from scratch-off games make it possible for the lottery to raise more than $900 million per year for education.

For details on how $11.1 million raised by the lottery made a difference in New Hanover County in 2021, visit www.nclottery.com and click on the “Impact” section.


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