Talk about March Madness.

The day after watching her son play in his final college basketball game, Vickie Richmond had no idea how much her life was about to change when she entered the Short Stop Convenience Store on West Main Street in Sanford.

Richmond, the mother of East Carolina University star senior shooting guard Akeem Richmond, scored a highlight of her own when she scratched off a $1 million winning ticket from the North Carolina Education Lottery.

“I almost hit the floor when I saw I had won,” Richmond said. “I kept looking at it to see if it was really real. I couldn’t sleep because I was afraid it was a dream.”

Winners of $1 million in the game have the option of claiming it in $50,000 payments as a 20-year annuity or a one-time lump sum of $600,000. Richmond chose the cash option and, after state and federal taxes were withheld, received a check for $415,206.

Akeem Richmond had a dream season of his own this year, finishing with 155 made 3-pointers – just seven away from Stephen Curry’s NCAA record. He became just the 13th player in NCAA history to hit 400 3-pointers in his college career. A year ago he sank the game-winning 3-pointer as time expired to give the Pirates a College Invitational Tournament Championship.

His team lost to Wright State on Tuesday to end his college career, but he is expected to work out for NBA teams this summer in hopes of getting drafted.

The Rant recently published a column on the star guard by Alex Podlogar, who covered ‘Keem for The Sanford Herald during Richmond during his career at Southern Lee High School. Richmond graduated from SLHS in 2007 as the second-highest scorer in NCHSAA history.