Veteran uses $100K lottery prize "to help his children follow their dreams"

Photo: NC Education Lottery 

Michael Buinicky of Charlotte said he plans to use a $100,000 lottery prize to help his children follow their dreams.

“My son just got accepted to grad school in Europe and my daughter is saving for her first home,” said Buinicky, an Air Force veteran. “I never thought I’d be able to help them like this.”

Buinicky said he had just finished his shift at Carmax and was heading to the store when he decided to stop by the EZ Mart on Monroe Road in Charlotte. While he was there, he bought a $20 100X The Cash scratch-off ticket. At first he wasn’t sure what he’d won.

“I thought it was only a thousand,” Buinicky said. “And then I thought, ‘Great! It’s $10,000.’ But I kept scratching and realized it was $100,000!”

Buinicky claimed his prize at lottery headquarters in Raleigh. After required state and federal tax withholdings, he took home $70,507.

“I just keep thinking, ‘What If I hadn’t stopped?’” Buinicky said. “Someone else could have bought that ticket. I was at the right place at the right time.”

Buinicky is the first player to win a big prize playing 100X The Cash. The game launched earlier this month with three $4 million prizes, six $1 million prizes, and six $100,000 prizes. Three $4 million, six $1 million and five $100,000 prizes remain.