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Bryan McDaniel of Smithfield and Tony Hedgepeth of Dunn are co-workers and friends, and now, they're the first players to win $1 million in the $10,000,000 Colossal Cash second-chance drawing.
They walked into North Carolina Education Lottery headquarters Friday morning greeted by cheers and confetti. After some tears and a round of hugs, they expressed their disbelief.
"We talked about what it would be like to win," McDaniel said. "We never thought we actually would."
"I didn't believe him when he told me the lottery called and wanted us to come to headquarters," Hedgepeth said. "We pull pranks on each other all the time and that's what I thought this was. When he played me the voicemail, I knew he wasn't kidding."
The forklift repairmen make it a tradition to play the lottery together, and have been doing so for over a year.
"We stop in the morning before work to get our scratch-off tickets," McDaniel said. "Every afternoon we enter our tickets into the second-chance drawings."
There are four remaining $10,000,000 Colossal Cash second-chance drawings. Players can enter their winning and non-winning tickets for a chance to win $1 million. Winners of second-chance drawings are notified by email or phone call.
"I was joking with Tony that it never felt so good to be a loser in my life," McDaniel said. "This is incredible that we won the second-chance drawing!"
They had the choice of taking an annuity that has 20 payments of $50,000 a year or a lump sum of $600,000. They chose the lump sum. After required state and federal tax withholdings, they shared $424,500.
McDaniel plans to use some of the money to do something special for his brand new baby girl and his 11 year-old-son. He also wants to open his own business.
"We've talked about doing this for quite a while," McDaniel said. "We never had the resources to do it, but now we can."
Hedgepeth said he plans to use some of the money to replace his 2001 pickup truck.
"I'm going to get a white truck with leather seats," Hedgepeth said. "We actually went to the lot this morning to look at one."
$10,000,000 Colossal Cash offers 25 prizes of $1 million or more. The top prize is $10 million.
Ticket sales from scratch-off games help the lottery raise more than $650 million a year for education. For details on how lottery funds are making a difference in all of North Carolina's 100 counties, click on the "Impact" section of the lottery's website, www.nclottery.com.