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.”
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.