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Raleigh Hill and-Erin Hill holding lottery check

In this Feb. 15, 2011 photo released by the N.C. Education Lottery, Raleigh Hill and his wife Erin Hill pose with a mock check for $1 million, in Raleigh, N.C. The North Carolina couple has claimed a $1 million lotto prize just a day before it expired. Raleigh Hill told the state lottery he hesitated to come in because of the attention. At one point, he lost track of the ticket before finding where he'd hidden it in a shoebox. (AP Photo/N.C. Education Lottery)

STALLINGS, N.C. — A North Carolina couple has claimed a $1 million lotto prize just a day before it expired.

Raleigh Hill bought the Mega Millions ticket last summer. The state lottery agency said Hill and his wife claimed the prize Tuesday at the agency’s headquarters.

Hill said he only realized a couple of weeks after the Aug. 20 drawing that his ticket matched all five white balls. He waited two or three more weeks to tell his wife, until she came home at the end of a bad day.

Hill told the state lottery he hesitated to come in because of the attention. At one point, he lost track of the ticket before finding where he’d hidden it in a shoe box.

After taxes, the couple received $680,000. Hill is a baggage handler and his wife, Erin Hill, works for the federal government.

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