For Anthony Johnson of Creedmoor, a split-second decision to play Powerball turned into a $1 million win.
“I’m lucky,” Johnson said. “I’m beyond lucky. I don’t even know how to play the lottery.”
Johnson decided to play Powerball Wednesday night while he was at the Food Lion on East Wilton Avenue in Creedmoor.
“I got $20 cash back, and then decided, ‘Why the heck not?” Johnson said. He took $10 and asked the clerk for ten quick pick tickets.
“She told me that would only get my five tickets,” He explained. “So I decided to give her the other $10.”
Johnson put the tickets in his wallet and didn’t look at them until the next day. He checked his phone at work and when he looked at the 6th ticket, the one he almost didn’t buy, he knew he’d won something.
“I saw the highlighted numbers,” Johnson said. “I was like, ‘What is that?’ When I realized what it meant, I started freaking out silently. I was shaking and sweating. I couldn’t believe it. It’s freaking awesome!”
Johnson claimed the prize Friday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh. After required state and federal withholdings, he took home $695,010. Johnson plans to use some of the money to pay bills, but he also wants to get a new couch.
“My wife and I have been wanting a new couch for a long time,” Johnson said. “We have two dogs and kept going back and forth about whether it was worth it to get a new one. But now, we’re going to get a real leather one.”
Johnson also wants to take his family on a trip to the Grand Canyon and to visit his sister in Australia.
The ticket beat odds of one in 11,688,053 to match five white balls to win the $1,000,000 prize. It was one of 16 tickets in North Carolina to win a big prize in Wednesday’s drawing.
Ticket sales from draw games like Powerball make it possible for the lottery to raise more than half a billion dollars a year for the state. For details on how lottery funds have made a difference in all of North Carolina’s 100 counties, click on the “For Education” section of the lottery’s website.