Lottery player with fitting nickname scores record-breaking NC prize. ‘Had to sit down’

A lottery player with a fitting nickname scored a record-breaking win in North Carolina.

Richard Tyler Jr. won $212,500 — the largest prize ever in the Carolina Keno game. That might not come as a surprise since he often visits the same store to try his luck on the game, according to the N.C. Education Lottery.

“The girls who work in the store know me,” Tyler told lottery officials in a Feb. 12 news release. “They call me Keno.”

Continuing his habit, officials said Tyler played Carolina Keno at his go-to store, the Gray’s Creek BP gas station in Fayetteville. He spent $20 on a ticket that matched nine out of 10 numbers picked in a recent drawing.

“When I saw how many I matched, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh,’” Tyler said. “I got kind of nervous.”

Though Tyler initially fell short of a six-figure win, the drawing’s 5X multiplier made his prize reach the historic amount. He took time to calm down when he learned he won big.

“I had to sit down for a few minutes just to breathe,” Tyler told the N.C. Education Lottery.

It turns out, Tyler’s $212,500 prize is the highest ever won since Carolina Keno debuted in 2017. The amount broke the game’s previous record of $200,000, a prize that went to a Charlotte-area grandmother as she celebrated her birthday in January, according to a lottery spokesperson and McClatchy News.

This time around, Tyler kept $151,943 after taxes. He is one of nine siblings and said he will give prize money to his family members.

“We are very tight knit and very close,” Tyler told lottery officials.

Fayetteville is roughly 60 miles south of Raleigh.

Many people can gamble or play games of chance without harm. However, for some, gambling is an addiction that can ruin lives and families.

If you or a loved one shows signs of gambling addiction, you can seek help by calling the national gambling hotline at 1-800-522-4700 or visiting the National Council on Problem Gambling website.

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