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Lucky numbers pay off big for North Carolina man

Claude Guezodje

Drawing Date: 4/21/2020

May 7, 2010 - Claude Guezodje of Charlotte, N.C., has been playing the same numbers on Mega Millions for almost five years, and on April 21 they paid off with a $2 million win.

“Those numbers were from a Chinese fortune cookie and random numbers I picked for myself,” said Guezodje. “I just liked those numbers and put them together.”

Guezodje, a highway construction worker, and his crew meet near the BP Mini Mart located on Bessemer City Road in Gastonia to pack his truck for a project on I-85 and U.S. 321. That’s also where he bought his winning ticket.

Guezodje was one of two lucky players nationwide who won $2 million dollars in the April 21 drawing. He matched all five white balls. Because he added Megaplier to his ticket for an additional $1, his $1 million prize was doubled when the 2X Megaplier was drawn. He beat odds of one in 12.6 million. The jackpot now climbs to $231 million as an annuity prize or $184.9 million cash for Friday’s drawing.

While the state’s Stay At Home order remains in effect, the North Carolina Education Lottery lifted the requirement that winners of prizes of $100,000 or more claim their prize in person. Guezodje checked for options to claim his prize on the lottery’s website and learned he could mail in his form. After federal and state tax withholdings, he took home $1.4 million on Tuesday.

“The first thing I’ll do is pay off my car and try to find a small house – nothing crazy,” Guezodje said. “And then of course I want to help my family back home.”