Windfall from lottery winnings allow parents to pay touching tribute
By Kate Northrop
JACKSONVILLE, N.C. — A retired veteran from North Carolina will be using his $10 million lottery prize to honor his recently deceased son by giving back to the community.
Marine Master Sergeant Alvin Mack II of Jacksonville retired from the military in May. His 19-year-old son, Alvin Mack III, who served in the Air Force Honor Guard at Arlington Cemetery, passed away that same month. With a winning lottery ticket worth $10 million in-hand, Mack felt that there was no greater opportunity to keep his son’s memory alive.
“He was my only son and he meant so much to me,” Mack told the North Carolina Lottery. “I’ve always been a believer of luck, but in this case, I just felt like it was a little bit more than that.”
He purchased the winning Supreme Riches lottery ticket for $30 at the Publix grocery store on Marlin Drive in Jacksonville, scooping up the one remaining top prize of $10 million. The instant scratch-off game was released last April, and with the final jackpot claimed, the Lottery will begin the process of removing the game.
Mack had a choice when he went to Lottery headquarters to claim his prize — either take the $10 million annuity as 20 payments of $500,000 or a lump sum of $6 million. He chose the lump sum and took home $4,245,009 after state and federal taxes.
The retired veteran had served in the Marine Corps for 20 years, but he was unprepared for the heartbreaking news of his son’s passing.
“When I got the word of my son’s passing, I wasn’t financially stable enough to pick up all the costs that were involved,” Mack explained in a press release. “The Fisher House Foundation donated housing for me and my family to stay during that time. My plan for this money is to donate to the Fisher House Foundation and continue to help others I can, in my son’s name.”
In addition to giving back to the charity that supported them in their time of need, Mack and his wife plan on starting a scholarship fund for student-athletes to help others like their son, who was a football quarterback in high school.
“I have a tribute room dedicated to my son, and I sat with him last night, and I just told him, ‘Is there anything you want me to do? And I’ll do it,'” Mack said. “I believe this is truly a blessing from my son.”
RAW VIDEO: Watch the interview