‘I started hyperventilating’: NC man wins $1M in Mega Millions after son picks numbers

RALEIGH, N.C. — A North Carolina man who became a millionaire this week can thank one of his sons for his new windfall of cash.

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David Morris, of Pineville, matched five white balls in the Aug. 1 Mega Millions game. While he did not win the $1.25 million grand prize that night, he did wind up with a cool million, according to a news release from the North Carolina Education Lottery.

The Mega Millions now stands at an estimated $1.55 billion, potentially the largest jackpot in the promotion’s history. The next drawing is Tuesday night.

Morris said he normally does not play the Mega Millions game, but decided to after the promotion topped $1 billion. He had his children pick the numbers for the game, and one of his sons came up with the winning combination.

According to lottery officials, Morris said he learned that he was a winner after he heard that a $1 million ticket had been bought in Pineville and no one had claimed the prize. He had bought the winning ticket from a 7-Eleven in Pineville.

“I started hyperventilating,” Morris said in a statement. “I called my wife at work and told her to come home right away.”

Morris claimed his prize at lottery headquarters, taking home $712,501 after federal and state taxes were deducted, according to lottery officials.

“We want to buy some land up in the Smoky Mountains where my wife is from,” Morris said in a statement.