A North Carolina man who won a $10 million lottery prize in 2017 has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in the 2020 fatal shooting of his girlfriend.
Last Friday (May 27), 54-year-old Michael Todd Hill of Leland, North Carolina, was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced, according to The News & Observer. The man who once had a bright future, has now been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
On July 20, 2020, Hill’s 23-year-old girlfriend, Keonna Graham of Navassa, North Carolina, was reported missing. She would later be discovered in a hotel with a fatal gunshot wound in the back of her head.
Prosecutors from the 15th Prosecutorial District of North Carolina stated that surveillance footage from the hotel identified the Leland resident as the only other person in contact with Graham. Officials add that Hill confessed to shooting the young woman after he allegedly caught her texting other men while the two were at the hotel together.
In August 2017, multiple local news outlets reported that Hill won $10 million from a lottery scratch-off. As the media swarmed to cover the overnight millionaire’s story, CBS affiliate WECT reported the lucky man was a nuclear power plant employee.
“I saw the one and then the zero and it still didn’t hit me,” he told the N.C. Education Lottery when discussing his new fortune. “But then I saw the ‘M’. My heart dropped down to my toes and I lost my breath.”
The lottery winner was given the option of racking up a $10 million annuity that had 20 payments of $500,000 a year or a lump sum of $6 million. He decided to opt for the lump sum. With over $4,159,000, after taxes, Hill shared that he would use the earnings to pay off bills and help his wife’s instructional design business.