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Marine veteran wants to use $10 million NC lottery prize to honor son who also served

Marine veteran Alvin Mack II, pictured with his wife, is using his $10 million lottery prize to honor his son who also served, North Carolina officials say

N.C. EDUCATION LOTTERY

By SIMONE JASPER | The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.) | Published: November 5, 2020

RALEIGH, N.C. (Tribune News Service) — A Marine veteran who won $10 million in the North Carolina lottery hopes to give back to those who helped him.

Alvin Mack II retired in May, the same month his son died at the age of 19, the N.C. Education Lottery said on Thursday. Now, Mack plans to honor the late teen's memory with a donation to a group that offered his family members a place to stay when they were in need, officials said in a news release.

"He was my only son and he meant so much to me," Mack said after winning the $10 million prize. "I've always been a believer of luck, but in this case, I just felt like it was a little bit more than that."

Mack in a video told the lottery that his good fortune came after he spent time in a room that honors his son, who served in the U.S. Air Force. The next day, he said he felt compelled to take a trip to a Publix grocery store in Jacksonville.

That's where he paid $30 to try his luck in the Supreme Riches scratch-off game, according to officials. When he got to his car, he said he checked the winning ticket and thought about how the big prize could impact others.

"I believe this is truly a blessing from my son," Mack said in the lottery's news release.

His son, Alvin Mack III, was a member of the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard and played high school football. With the lottery winnings, his parents want to help student athletes through a scholarship fund, officials say.

Also in tribute, Mack said he wants to give to a military-focused charity that lent him a hand.

"When I got the word of my son's passing, I wasn't financially stable enough to pick up all the costs that were involved," Mack told officials. "The Fisher House Foundation donated housing for me and my family to stay during that time."

Mack decided to get his prize money in a lump sum and kept more than $4.2 million after taxes, according to the lottery. He lives in Onslow County, in Eastern North Carolina and home to the Camp Lejeune Marine Corps base.

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