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.
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.”
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.