Gaston County veteran Allen Holderby says his wife called him a liar when he told her they’d won $1 million in North Carolina’s Education Lottery.
“He’s pulled pranks before,” his wife, Janet, said in a statement. “I wouldn’t believe him.”
So he showed her a Frenzy scratch-off lottery ticket, emblazoned with a $1 million win.
It’s unclear how his wife reacted at the sight, but she says now that “it feels unreal, it hasn’t sunk in yet.”
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Holderby says the same thing. He beat odds of 1 in 1.8 million to win.
“I couldn’t believe it at first,” he said in a statement released by the state lottery. “I started shaking.”
The big win came after he bought a $10 Frenzy scratch-off ticket at the Oakhill Deli & Grill on Oakdale Road in northeast Charlotte. That’s just south of Interstate 485, near Oak Hills Golf Club.
He says the win will make his retirement a little better. Holderby said he served in the Army for 13 years, including roles in the infantry, special forces and as a paratrooper.
He claimed the prize Thursday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh. Holderby had the choice of taking a $1 million annuity that has 20 payments of $50,000 a year or a lump sum of $600,000.
The couple, who live in the small community of Stanley, went with the lump sum. After required state and federal tax withholdings, he took home $417,009.
Holderby is the first player to win a top prize since $2,500 Frenzy launched earlier this month. Three top prizes remain.
He’s the second person in the Charlotte area to win $1 million this summer in the lottery.
The state announced last month that Gudiel Lopez of Charlotte won $1million playing the Extreme Millions scratch-off game. He bought the $30 ticket at a convenience store on Eastway Drive. Lopez also went for the lump sum.