$10M Lottery Winner Gets Life Without Parole

Michael Todd Hill guilty of murdering Keonna Graham
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 23, 2020 4:31 AM CDT
Updated May 30, 2022 3:05 PM CDT
$10M Lottery Winner Charged With Murder
This photo provided by the Shallotte Police Department shows Michael Todd Hill.   (Shallotte Police Department via AP)

Update: A North Carolina man who won a $10 million jackpot five years ago will never spend money as a free man again. Michael Todd Hill, 54, was convicted of first-degree murder Friday and sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole, the News & Observer reports. Hill won $10 million from a scratch-off card in August 2017. He was arrested in July 2020 after the body of 23-year-old Keonna Graham was found in a hotel room. Prosecutors said Hill "confessed to shooting Graham after she had been texting other men while at the hotel." Our story from July 22, 2020, follows:

A North Carolina man who won a $10 million lottery prize in 2017 has been arrested on a murder charge in the death of a woman whose body was found at a hotel. The Shallotte Police Department charged Michael Todd Hill, 52, of Leland, with murder after the body of 23-year-old Keonna Graham was found Monday in a hotel room in the Brunswick County town, the AP reports. Authorities did not immediately release additional details about the woman’s slaying. Graham worked as a correctional officer at a prison in Burgaw, NC, according to a cousin, Antionette Lee. Before that, Graham had a job working with mentally disabled people at a rehabilitation center, Lee said.

"She did all of this like it was second nature to her,” said Lee, who described her cousin as a generous, loving, and adventurous woman who enjoyed hiking and bicycle rides. Graham is survived by her mother, Latrinda Graham, and a 10-year-old sister, Zoey. Lee said Graham and her younger sister had an "unbreakable bond." "We are hurting. We are in pain," Lee said. "Our family is devastated." Hill won $10 million from an Ultimate Millions scratch-off ticket in August 2017, WECT-TV reports. Hill was arrested Tuesday in Southport, NC. He was ordered held without bond at a Brunswick County jail after his initial court appearance.

(Read more North Carolina stories.)

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