Man who won $10m on lottery is sentenced to life in prison for shooting girlfriend in head as she slept

Michael Hill confessed to killing his girlfriend (Brunswick County )
Michael Hill confessed to killing his girlfriend (Brunswick County )

A man who won $10m on a scratch-off lottery ticket back in 2017 has been sentenced to life in prison for shooting his girlfriend in the back of the head while she slept.

Michael Hill, 54, was sentenced on Friday to life without the possibility of parole for the first-degree murder of Keonna Graham, 24, in 2020.

The body of Ms Graham was discovered by a maid inside a hotel room in the SureStay Hotel in Shallotte, North Carolina, on 20 July 2020.

The 24-year-old had suffered a single gunshot wound to the back of the head.

An autopsy later revealed that she was sleeping on the hotel room bed when the fatal shot was fired.

The net quickly closed in on Hill after investigators checked surveillance footage and discovered he was the only person in the hotel room at the time of her murder.

He was arrested by police in Southport the following day and confessed to the crime.

He told investigators that he had been in a relationship with Ms Graham for around 18 months and had found her texting other men while they were staying at the hotel.

On Friday, the jury deliberated for just one hour before finding Hill guilty of Ms Graham’s murder.

He was also sentenced to 22 to 36 months for possession of a firearm by a felony, which hepleaded guilty to before trial.

In 2017, Hill hit headlines for other reasons when the nuclear power plant worker won $10m from an Ultimate Millions scratch-off ticket, according to News6.

When given the choice between 20 annual payments of $500,000 or a lump sum of $6m, he opted for the latter, taking home around $4.2m after tax.

At the time, he said he planned to use some of the money to invest in his wife’s business.