May 28, 2024 3 min read


Raleigh High School Student Scores $1 Million Jackpot

The winning player was just 18 years old, meaning the unexpected jackpot should give him a substantial boost during some of the most impactful years of his life

An 18-year-old high school student from Raleigh, North Carolina, has turned a $10 lottery ticket into a $1 million jackpot, bringing an extraordinary windfall into his young life. This life-changing win was the latest in a series of high-profile jackpots in the Tarheel State this month, highlighting how fortune can strike when least expected.

The Win Came out of Nowhere

Jalen McLean’s fortunate moment came when he entrusted his sister, Dasha Silas, to pick out a scratch-off ticket for him. She selected a $10 Jumbo Bucks ticket from a Valero gas station in Fayetteville, and they scratched off the ticket to reveal the stunning prize. Silas recalled her brother’s ecstatic reaction as they processed what had happened.

He had a huge smile on his face, like so big. It looked like the movie character Venom.

Dasha Silas

As the youngest of five siblings, McLean expressed his amazement at the rarity of such an event as he visited the North Carolina Education Lottery headquarters to claim his prize. He noted that the incredible win still felt surreal, as he couldn’t believe that a high school student like himself could experience something like this.

I feel like the luckiest guy in the universe. How many 18-year-olds win something like this?

Jalen McLean

May has so far been a lucky month for North Carolina residents. A few weeks ago, avid NC lottery player Cynthia Harris won a $700,000 Instant Jackpot “by accident” as she tried out the digital instant game Bison Bonanza. She thought she was experiencing the game’s demo mode until her unexpected victory made her realize she was playing for real.

The Winner Shared Some of His Ambitions

As for McLean, the teenager opted for financial stability over an immediate lump sum, opting to receive his prize as an annuity, which will provide him with $50,000 annually for the next 20 years. This decision means that McLean will receive yearly payments until he is 38, totaling the $1 million prize. 

After taxes, the lucky teenager’s first payment amounted to $35,753, which he received on Wednesday. McLean already has plans for his newfound wealth. His initial priority is to purchase a new car, a practical and rewarding way to begin enjoying his winnings. The monthly payments should give him substantial freedom, allowing him to pursue his ambitions.

The North Carolina Education Lottery’s announcement of McLean’s win has caused excitement and celebration. This story of an everyday high schooler striking it rich with a simple scratch-off ticket has captivated many, embodying the dream of instant fortune and how it can impact one’s life, creating unexpected opportunities.

Deyan is an experienced writer, analyst, and seeker of forbidden lore. He has approximate knowledge about many things, which he is always willing to apply when researching and preparing his articles. With a degree in Copy-editing and Proofreading, Deyan is able to ensure that his work writing for GamblingNews is always up to scratch.

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