A big Happy Birthday went out to a Spring Lake man, after he won $3 million on a North Carolina Education Lottery scratch-off ticket he bought himself as a late birthday present.

Kevon Greenidge bought the $30 Fabulous Fortune ticket from the Short Stop on Anderson Ponds Drive in Spring Lake on the First Tuesday promotion date for the lottery.

“I thought I was being pranked or something,” Greenidge said. “I really thought it was a trick.”

Grennidge’s 40th birthday was two days before he bought the lucky ticket. He said he plans to buy a house, a car, and give some money to charity.

“When I saw it had so many numbers, I thought maybe it actually is real,” Greenidge said.

Greenidge had the choice to take the $3 million annuity or to take the lump sum cash out of $1.8 million. He chose the immediate lump sum and walked away with $1,278,189 after federal and state tax withholdings.

Fabulous Fortune debuted this month with six $3 million prizes and 18 $100,000 prizes. Five $3 million prizes and 17 $100,000 prizes remain to be claimed.

Ticket sales from scratch-off games make it possible for the lottery to raise more than $900 million per year for education. A $10 million grant, using money raised by the lottery, is helping Harnett County build the new Northwest Harnett Elementary School. For details on other ways Harnett County benefits from lottery funds, visit https://www.nclottery.com and click on the “Impact” section.

Brandon Plotnick is a former sports journalist, now living in the digital space with interests all over the musical and pop culture map.