North Carolina teen wins $1m lottery on $10 scratch card – after sister picked out his ticket

Jalen McLean, 18, won $1 million after he gave his sister, Dasha Silas, money to buy him a scratch ticket  (North Carolina Lottery)
Jalen McLean, 18, won $1 million after he gave his sister, Dasha Silas, money to buy him a scratch ticket (North Carolina Lottery)

A North Carolina teenager has become a millionaire overnight after winning $1m on a $10 scratch card – that his sister picked out.

Jalen McLean, 18, told North Carolina Education Lottery officials that he had given his sister Dasha Silas some money and asked her to buy him a scratch-off lottery ticket on 21 May.

Ms Silas then picked out a $10 Jumbo Bucks ticket from the Valero store in Fayetteville and gave it to him, Mr McLean said.

Ms Silas said she then watched as her brother scratched his winning lottery ticket and realized he had won big.

“He had a huge smile on his face,” she said. “Like so big it looked like the movie character Venom.”

Mr McLean, who is the youngest of five siblings, then gave his ticket to North Carolina Education Lottery officials and collected some of his winnings on 22 May.

The teenager said he feels like the “luckiest guy in the universe” after his win.

“How many 18-year-olds win something like this?” he said.

He added that he plans to use some of his winnings to buy an Audi.

It is not clear if he will share his winnings with his sister who picked out the ticket.

The Independent has contacted the North Carolina Education Lottery for comment.

According to the NC Education Lottery website, winners can either choose to have $600,000 withdrawn as an initial payment, or they can opt to have their winnings paid to them in yearly instalments.

The NC Education Lottery said Mr McLean opted to receive his prize as an annuity of $50,000 for 20 years, meaning he will receive a check every year until he is 38.

His first check, which he collected last week, came out at $35,753 after required state and federal tax withholdings.

The teenager’s win comes after another North Carolina teen – 18-year-old Donnie Leviner – won nearly $2m earlier this month, one of the first times he had ever played the lottery.

Mr Leviner told NC Education Lottery he also received the winnings from a scratch-off ticket – something he said he had a “gut feeling” he should buy.

“Something just told me to buy it,” he said at the time.

NC Education Lottery benefits local schools. Scotland County, where Mr Leviner lives, has received $1.6m in funding for projects since the Big Cash Payout debuted last July.

The odds of winning something in the scratch-off game are 1 in 3.21, but to win the top prize of $2m the odds rise to around 1 in 1.6 million.

Four people have won that jackpot so far, according to the lottery’s website, with two more prizes to be won. Most prizes given out range from $5,000 to $20,000.