Kannapolis man stops to buy drink, ends up winning lottery

Published 3:47 pm Wednesday, June 1, 2022

KANNAPOLIS —  A quick trip to a Wilmington convenience store had a life-changing impact on the life of one Kannapolis man.

Stephen Kardos simply wanted to grab a drink before heading out to a pier at the beach recently when he decided to purchase a lottery ticket while he was there, according to a news release from North Carolina Lottery.

The ticket, a $10 Scorching Hot 7’s scratch-off from the Han-Dee Hugo’s on Carolina Beach Road, ended up making his quick detour worthwhile.

“I freaked out for a second there,” Kardos said, when he got to his car and found out he had the winning number. “I thought it was fake or something.”

Fortunately for Kardos, the ticket was very much real and on Tuesday he arrived at the lottery headquarters in Raleigh to claim his winnings.

After taxes, Kardos took home $497,073. Asked how he felt about the windfall of winnings, Kardos said, “I almost started crying because I can finally own my own house now.”

Just where that place is remains to be seen for Kardos, who admits that his love for fishing may also lead him to move to Wilmington moving forward.

The Scorching Hot 7s game debuted in April with four top prizes of $700,000. Two $700,000 prizes remain to be claimed. For details on how $7.4 million raised by the lottery made a difference in Rowan County in 2021, visit www.nclottery.com and click on the “Impact” section.