Air Force veteran buys scratch-off at Charlotte convenience stor - | WBTV Charlotte

Air Force veteran buys scratch-off at Charlotte convenience store, wins $100,000

Michael Buinicky (Credit: NC Education Lottery) Michael Buinicky (Credit: NC Education Lottery)

An Air Force veteran who is a $100,000 richer after winning the lottery plans to use his winnings to help his children follow their dreams.

According to a spokesperson with the North Carolina Education Lottery, Michael Buinicky, of Charlotte, bought the winning scratch-off ticket at the EZ Mart on Monroe Road. Buinicky had just finished working when he decided to stop at the convenience store.

At first, Buinicky didn't realize he 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!”

Lottery officials say Buinicky claimed his prize at the Raleigh headquarters. He ended up taking $70,507 home after required state and federal tax withholdings. 

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

Now, Buinicky plans to use the money to help his children. 

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

Officials say Buinicky is the first person to win a big prize while playing 100X The Cash scratch-off, which launched earlier in February. 

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