A North Carolina man told lottery officials that he "rolled his eyes as usual" when his wife asked him to buy a lottery ticket at a store on Monday night.
“ 'Get me a Lucky For Life ticket,' ” Darrin Nunnery of Linden said his wife called out before he left home. Linden is about 22 miles northeast of Fort Bragg.
Still, he did it — and returned with a $2 ticket for that night’s drawing.
The next morning, his wife asked him: “ 'Do you feel lucky?' ” Nunnery said.
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“What do you mean, 'Do I feel lucky?' ” he replied.
“ 'Well,” she said, " 'we just got five numbers in Lucky For Life. That’s $25,000 a year.' ”
Nunnery recounted the conversations when he claimed his prize at state lottery headquarters in Raleigh on Tuesday with his wife, a daughter and a grandson by his side. He beat odds of 1 in 1.8 million.
As lottery officials watched, Nunnery looked over at his wife and said, “I told her, the rolling my eyes is over,” according to a news release by the N.C. Education Lottery on Wednesday.
Nunnery told lottery officials that while the good luck was a blessing, it paled to the blessing he’s had over the past four years recovering from a brain aneurysm.
The former maintenance contractor at Fort Bragg remains disabled, but he told lottery officials that doctors say he’s lucky to be around.
“I get to see my grandchildren, my wife, more, and my kids, more,” Nunnery said.
Winners of the top two prizes in Lucky For Life can claim their prize as an annuity that pays every year for the rest of their life, or take a lump sum. Nunnery chose the lump sum of $390,000. After federal and state tax withholdings, he took home $274,954.
He plans to pay off the mortgage, do some home improvement and pay bills. He said he also wants to “give a little to some people I love very much and give some to my church.”
He bought the Quick Pick ticket at the Exprezit store on North Ramsey Street in the Cumberland County town, about 22 miles northeast of Fort Bragg.