N.C. Man Who Won $10 Million Lottery Sentenced to Life in Prison for Fatally Shooting His Girlfriend

Michael Todd Hill, who won a lottery in 2017, was sentenced to life in prison for shooting and killing his girlfriend in 2020

Michael Todd Hill Brunswick County (North Carolina) Sheriff's Office
Photo: Brunswick County Sheriff's Office

More than four years after winning a $10 million lottery, a North Carolina man has been convicted and sentenced for the murder of his girlfriend.

Michael Todd Hill, 54, was convicted of first-degree murder for fatally shooting Keonna Graham, whom he had been dating for more than a year, in the summer of 2020, News & Observer and WECT report.

Graham, 23, was first reported missing on July 20 of that year and was found with a "gunshot wound to the back of the head" at a SureStay Hotel near Wilmington, the 15th Prosecutorial District of North Carolina said in a release, per News & Observer.

"Surveillance footage from the hotel showed Hill as the only individual in the hotel room with Graham," prosecutors said in the release, according to the publication, noting that the former nuclear plant worker "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."

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Prosecutors added that Hill admitted to killing Graham after he found out she was text messaging other men at the hotel, CBS News reported.

Per WECT, Graham's mother is the one who reported her missing.

On Friday, Hill was convicted by a jury and sentenced to "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," said officials, according to News & Observer.

"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," added Assistant District Attorney Shirley Smircic in the prosecutors' news release, per News & Observer. "The hard work of these officers ensured a just result in this case."

It is not clear if Hill has a lawyer to comment on his behalf.

The North Carolina Judicial Branch did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

Hill's sentencing comes more than four-and-a-half years after he won a $10 million lottery from purchasing a scratch-off ticket at a local gas station. He opted to take his payments in a lump sum of $6 million, and was ultimately paid $4,159,101 after federal taxes, he told NC Education Lottery.

"This is life changing," Hill told the site at the time. "Wow! Just wow!"

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