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Navy veteran wins $1 million, aims to support good causes

Charlie Thur

Drawing Date: 6/2/2015

June 3, 2015 - A Navy veteran from Burgaw, N.C., said that winning $1 million in Tuesday’s Mega Millions drawing means he can pay off his mortgage, share with his family, and donate to his church and the Wounded Warriors Project.

In less than 12 hours after the drawing, Charlie Thur went from realizing he had a winning ticket, to discovering he won $1 million, to collecting his prize money at lottery headquarters in Raleigh, N.C.

Thur, who served for 20 years in the military, was watching television at around 4:30 a.m. this morning when the winning numbers from the night before appeared on the broadcast. Thur’s ticket matched all five white balls, but not the gold Mega Ball, beating odds of 1 in 18.5 million.

“I knew I’d won something,” he recalled. “I just didn’t know how much.”

To find out, Thur took his ticket back to the store where he purchased it, the Food Lion on U.S. 117 North Bypass in Burgaw, and asked the clerk to scan his ticket.

“The terminal made a funny sound,” he said. “They told me I had to go to Raleigh.”

Thur waited until 8 a.m. for the lottery’s customer service line to open and called to find out the size of his prize. The representative he talked to gave him the good news.

“She told me, ‘You won a million,’” he said.

After required state and federal withholdings, Thur received a check for $692,500. He said he will share some of his winnings with his two daughters and establish college funds for his two granddaughters.