A North Carolina man who won a $10 million lottery prize in 2017 is now convicted of first-degree murder in the shooting death of his girlfriend.
Michael Todd Hill, 53, of Leland, was convicted of first-degree murder for killing Keonna Graham, 23, who was reported missing on July 20, 2020. She was later found dead with a gunshot wound to the back of the head at the SureStay Hotel in Shallotte, News & Observer reported.
Prosecutors said surveillance footage from the hotel showed Hill as the only person in the room with Graham, according to the news release from the 15th Prosecutorial District of North Carolina. He later confessed to shooting Graham after she had been texting other men at the hotel.
An autopsy report determined that Graham was asleep when she was shot, WWAY reported.
Hill was convicted of the crime on May 27, facing “life in prison without the possibility of parole and 22-36 months in prison for Possession of Firearm by Felon to run concurrent with his life sentence,” officials said.
Assistant District Attorney Shirley Smircic thanked law enforcement for investigating Graham’s death.
“The District Attorney’s Office would like to thank our local law enforcement agencies for their collaborative efforts in the investigation of Graham’s death,” she said in the news release. “The hard work of these officers ensured a just result in this case.”
In August 2017, Hill worked at a nuclear plant when he purchased a non-winning lottery ticket. Then, he decided to buy another scratch-off game and discovered he was a $10 million lottery winner.
“I saw the one and then the zero, and it still didn’t hit me,” he told N.C. Education Lottery at the time. “But then I saw the ‘M.’ My heart dropped down to my toes, and I lost my breath.”
Hill went back to the same store clerk and asked if the winning ticket was real, saying, “I showed her the ticket and asked her, ‘Please tell me what you see,’” Hill said. “She told me, ‘Sir, I think you just won $10 million.’”
According to the website, the “Ultimate Millions launched in September 2015 with four $10 million prizes and 18 $1 million prizes,” according to the website.