Rowan County man’s gas refill changes his life forever

Published 3:37 pm Monday, June 10, 2019

Tyler Wagoner of Salisbury is good on gas money and much more after winning $1 million playing the $1 million Back Scratch ticket.

“Before I was worrying about having enough gas to get places. Now, I’m set. I can start taking care of stuff,” Wagoner said.

Wagoner stopped for gas at the Circle K store on East Main Street in Rockwell and bought a $5 ticket, which he won $25 on. He was about to return to his car when something caught his eye.

It was the scratch-off ticket.

“It was in the No. 6 spot, which is my lucky number. I thought, ‘Might as well.’ I scratched it right there and saw I had won $1 million. I was just like, ‘Wow, I can’t believe it,’” Wagoner said.

The first person Wagoner called to share the good news with was his dad.

“We’re always joking to each other about winning the lottery,” he said. “When I called him up, he thought it was a joke. He made me send him a picture of me holding the ticket up to my face before he would believe me.”

Wagoner claimed his prize Thursday. He had a choice of taking the $1 million as an annuity of $50,000 over 20 years or a lump sum of $600,000. He chose the lump sum. After tax withholdings, he took home $424,503.

The $10 ticket launched in September with five top prizes of $1 million. Since Wagoner claimed the last top prize, the lottery will end the game.

Ticket sales from instant games like Back Scratch make it possible for the lottery to raise more than $650 million a year for the state. For details on how $7.9 million in lottery revenue has made a difference in Rowan County, visit the “Impact” section of the lottery’s website at