A North Carolina lottery winner was sentenced to life in prison for committing first degree murder.
Michael Todd Hill, 54, was convicted of killing his 23-year-old girlfriend of a year, Keonna Graham last week. Graham was reported missing on July 20, 2020, but her body was eventually discovered at a hotel with a “gunshot wound to the back of the head.”
Hill, who was formerly a nuclear power plant worker, won a “life changing” $10 million on a scratch off lottery ticket in 2017. He won the prize after purchasing a ticket at a gas station in Leland, NC, and losing on his first try, then went back to the same store clerk and bought another.
“I joked with her, ‘How come you didn’t sell me a winning ticket?’” Hill said. He scratched the ticket off in his car and was stunned by the sum he won. Hill went back into the store and asked the clerk to verify that he had actually won the amount shown on the ticket.
“I showed her the ticket and asked her, ‘Please tell me what you see,’” he recalled. “She told me, ‘Sir, I think you just won $10 million.’” Hill took his winnings in a lump sum of $6 million, which shrank down to $4.1 million after taxes.
After being sentenced to life in prison without parole for first-degree murder, the money means little. Police discovered Graham’s body in a hotel room outside of Wilmington, days after she was reported missing and the evidence indicated that he was the perpetrator.
“Surveillance footage from the hotel showed Hill as the only individual in the hotel room with Graham,” prosecutors said in a press release. “Hill was later arrested by law enforcement in Southport, North Carolina and confessed to shooting Graham after she had been texting other men while at the hotel.”
He was also sentenced to 22-36 months in jail for possession of a firearm by a felon, the term will be served concurrently with his life sentence according to officials.