Out shopping for dinner, Burak Davrekanli of Hatteras decided to try his luck on two $5 tickets and one of them won him the final $200,000 Mega Bucks top prize.
“I was all the time saying that, ‘One day I will win it. I’m just waiting for that day,’” he said. “It was like a dream.”
Davrekanli, an international student studying liberal arts, purchased his winning $5 ticket from the Food Lion on N.C. 12 in Avon.
“I wasn’t planning to go to Food Lion,” Davrekanli recalled. “And at the last minute I said, ‘Let me go and get a couple things for dinner.’ And then I just got the ticket from the machine and I went back home. For a while I forgot it.”
Later that night, he remembered his tickets and scratched them off.
“I scratched the prize part and the first thing I saw was three 0s,” he recalled. “And I was like, ‘Okay?’ And I kept scratching and there was another 0 and another 0 and then I saw the 2. $200,000. And I just froze.”
When his big win sunk in, Davrekanli started celebrating. “I was alone but I’m pretty sure all of Hatteras Island heard me because I was just screaming!” he recalled, laughing.
Davrekanli claimed his prize Wednesday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh. After required federal and state tax withholdings, he took home $141,501.
“I’m going to use it for my education,” he said. He plans to go into business marketing after graduation.
Davrekanli won the last $200,000 top prize so the lottery will begin steps to end the game.
Ticket sales from scratch-offs make it possible for the lottery to raise more than $725 million per year for education. For details on how lottery funds have helped all of North Carolina’s 100 counties, click on the “Impact” section of the lottery’s website.