Maiden man wins $250k in lottery

A Maiden resident is $250,000 richer after winning big in a state lottery game.

Mike Bollinger, of Maiden, won a quarter of a million dollars on a $1 Mega Millions ticket he purchased in Stanley on Friday.

His ticket was one of two that matched all five white balls in the Friday drawing, beating odds of more than one in 3.9 million. The other ticket, which is also worth $250,000, has yet to be claimed.

Bollinger, a police officer and EMT member, purchased the ticket at Beach's General Store on N.C. 73 in Stanley, according to information provided by the N.C. Education Lottery.

“Something just felt right that day when I bought it,” Bollinger said in a statement. “I let the computer pick the numbers.”

Before his big win, Bollinger said $15 was the most he had ever won playing Mega Millions. After state and federal taxes, Bollinger will receive about $170,000.

Bollinger, who has worked in law enforcement and emergency management for 26 years, said he plans to use his winnings to pay bills and take a vacation.

“Really to have those bills off of you,” he said, “is more of a relief than anything,"

Through June 30 of last year, Catawba County players won more than $67.4 million in lottery prizes, and education programs in the county received more than $27.8 million in lottery funds, according to information provided by the N.C. Education Lottery.

By law, those funds pay for teachers’ salaries, school construction, need-based college scholarships and pre-kindergarten programs for at-risk 4-year-olds.

To date, the N.C. Education Lottery has raised more than $2.2 billion for those initiatives statewide.