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NC man’s decision to buy 5 extra Powerball tickets changed his life forever

Stats professor explains lottery odds

A High Point woman won more than 40 times on scratch-off tickets worth at least $600 from 2011 to late 2015. The largest of her prizes totaled some $57,000. To win that often, according to Jan Hannig, a UNC statistician, she'd have to spend at lea
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A High Point woman won more than 40 times on scratch-off tickets worth at least $600 from 2011 to late 2015. The largest of her prizes totaled some $57,000. To win that often, according to Jan Hannig, a UNC statistician, she'd have to spend at lea

The North Carolina man who won $1 million playing Powerball on Wednesday is proof of the role pure chance plays in winning.

Anthony Johnson, of Creedmoor, said he intended to use half of his change at the grocery store to buy lottery tickets, but made a split-second decision at the check-out counter to use it all. That got him five additional Powerball tickets.

“I got $20 cash back (in change) and then decided: Why the heck not?” explained Johnson, who bought the tickets at a Food Lion in Creedmoor.

Between 2006 and late 2015, no one had won more prizes of $600 or more than retired Seagrove potter Phil Morgan. He's won 111 times. Morgan, 68, says he often bets the same number multiple times on the Pick 4 game so if it hits, he wins a lot that

The next day, he discovered it was one of those extra tickets that won big.

“I’m beyond lucky. I don’t even know how to play the lottery,” Johnson said in a statement. “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, state officials said. After required state and federal withholdings, he took home $695,010. He said he will 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 in a statement. “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.”

For two years, Charlie Rush and nine of his employees at Carpet Discount Warehouse in Charlotte have pooled their money to get a Powerall ticket for each of the twice-weekly drawings. Last Wednesday night, their $12-a-week contributions paid off w

Johnson also wants to take his family on a trip to the Grand Canyon and to visit his sister in Australia, lottery officials said.

The ticket beat odds of one in 11,688,053 to match five white balls to win the $1 million, said state officials. It was one of 16 tickets in North Carolina to win a big prize in Wednesday’s drawing.

If the record-breaking Powerball jackpot has you dreaming of how you would spend the winnings — you are not alone. But where you live plays a big role in how much of the prize you would get to keep.

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