Gaston County Man Wins ‘Big Money’ With Last $1 Million Top Prize

GASTON COUNTY, N.C. (News Release) — Daniel Kennedy of Belmont lucked out on the final Big Money $1 million top prize.

“I made it in time, I guess,” joked Kennedy as he claimed his prize at lottery headquarters on Monday.

Kennedy purchased his lucky $10 ticket from the Ingco Express on Lowell Bethesda Road in Gastonia.

“I was shocked,” he said. “I didn’t know what to think at first. I reread the ticket probably 40 times at least. It’s been crazy.”

Kennedy had a choice of receiving his prize as an annuity of $50,000 over 20 years or a lump sum of $600,000. He chose the lump sum and, after required state and federal tax withholdings, received $424,503.

“It means a lot,” said Kennedy of his good fortune. He says his prize money will go towards paying off bills and helping out his family members.

The Big Money game started in December 2019 with three top prizes of $1 million. Kennedy won the last 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 $13.5 million raised by the lottery made a difference in Gaston County in 2019, visit and click on the “Impact” section.