RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCT) — Rocky Mount resident Willie Pridgen Jr. said his children will benefit the most after he won a $1 million scratch-off prize.

“I want to invest the money and leave it to my children,” Pridgen said, “so they can have a better life than I had.”

Pridgen bought his lucky $10 Red Hot Millions ticket from Tony’s Tobacco Shop on West Mount Drive in Nashville.

“I was amazed and overwhelmed,” he recalled. “This is a one-in-a-million deal.”

When Pridgen arrived at lottery headquarters, he had a decision to make. He could choose to receive the prize as an annuity of $50,000 over 20 years or a lump sum of $600,000. He chose the lump sum of $600,000 and, after required state and federal tax withholdings, took home $427,503.

“My family is really going to benefit from this,” he said.

Red Hot Millions debuted in September with four $1 million prizes. Two $1 million prizes remain to be claimed.

A $10 million lottery-funded grant helped Nash County build the new Red Oak Elementary School. For details on other ways Nash County benefits from lottery funds, visit www.nclottery.com and click on the “Impact” section.