FIRST ON 3: Wilmington man arrested for falsely claiming $1 million lottery prize
OAK ISLAND, NC (WWAY) -– A Wilmington man is accused of obtaining a winning lottery ticket illegally. On Monday WWAY told you about an Oak Island woman who won a $1 million lottery prize. Now her husband is charged with stealing it.
After winning the prize money, Mikala Fields, a community college student in Brunswick County, said she would spend the money to buy a new home and invest for the future. But now, her husband, 20 year-old Sean Mewherter is accused of a scam that landed him behind bars.
No one at the Kangaroo Express in Oak Island would discuss the investigation, but according to the NCEL, after Fields was awarded the prize money Mewherter’s boss contacted them.
An investigation led to the arrest of Mewherter by the Oak Island Police Department and security officials from the N.C. Education Lottery.
The investigation is continuing but as of Wednesday no charges have been filed against Fields.
“We are determined to take all steps possible to ensure that the security and integrity of the lottery and its games will not be compromised,” said Alice Garland, executive director of the N.C. Education Lottery. “We appreciate the vigilance of our partner, Kangaroo Express, in monitoring the sale of lottery tickets.”
The Education Lottery also is seeking the recovery of the prize money paid to Fields. Top prize winners in the 20X The Money game have the option of claiming their prize as a 20-year annuity, or as a lump sum. Fields chose the $600,000 lump sum and received a check for $408,003 after taxes were withheld.
“A lot of safeguards are in place to ensure lottery prizes are honestly won,” Garland said. “In this case, lottery players didn’t get the chance they should have had to win that prize. So when the money is recovered it will be used as prize money in a future instant game.”
Mewherter has since been released from the Brunswick County Jail on a $10,000 bond.
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