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Lotto Winner Charged With Murder 3 Years After Scoring $10 Million Jackpot
When Michael Hill failed to check out of his hotel room, housekeeping entered — and discovered Keonna Graham's motionless body.
A man who won a $10 million lotto jackpot has been charged with murder just three years after taking home his winnings.
Michael Hill, 52, was arrested Tuesday after 23-year-old Keonna Graham was found dead in his hotel room the previous morning, the Charlotte Observer reports.
Last Sunday, Hill checked in alone at a SureStay hotel in Shallotte, N.C. He missed his checkout time at 11 a.m. the next day, so a housekeeper went upstairs to knock on his door, local station WECT-6 reports.
When Hill didn’t answer, the employee went in — and discovered Graham’s motionless body.
Police were called and Hill was taken into custody on Tuesday, the Wilmington Star News reports. None of the staff had seen Graham prior to their horrifying discovery, the hotel’s manager told WECT.
Hill became a millionaire in August 2017 after scratching off a $10 million lotto ticket.
“When I got to the dollar symbol I knew I won something. I saw the one and then the zero and it still didn’t hit me. But then I saw the ‘M.’ My heart dropped down to my toes and I lost my breath,” he told local outlet WWAY-3 at the time, recalling the moment he realized what he’d won.
Hill had the choice of taking home either $10 million in yearly installments or a smaller lump sum. He chose the lump sum, which came out to a little over $4 million after taxes, according to the outlet.
Hill has been charged with murder and is being held without bond, according to online inmate records. Despite his recent lotto win, he claimed he couldn’t afford a lawyer and has been appointed a public defender, WECT reports.
Hill and Graham had an on-and-off relationship, Det. John Holman told the Star News. She was a prison correction officer who had previously worked for a program helping people with mental disabilities, according to the Associated Press.
Hill has been arrested several times before and has been convicted of multiple felonies, the Star News reports. His most recent conviction was for an armed robbery in June 1992.
Hill's attorney could not immediately be reached for comment.