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Fishing boat captain stops at store for a drink — and wins $1 million in NC lottery

Austin Eubank and his wife, Margaret, of Wilmington will be celebrating July Fourth with a family fishing trip and a $1 million lottery prize.
Austin Eubank and his wife, Margaret, of Wilmington will be celebrating July Fourth with a family fishing trip and a $1 million lottery prize. NC Education Lottery photo

The sun-burned captain of a fishing boat stopped to buy a drink Tuesday at a convenience store in Wilmington and ended up winning $1 million, according to the N.C. Education Lottery.

Austin Eubank, a husband and father, said in a release that the win is all the more surprising given he “doesn’t normally play the lottery.”

Eubank says he was just feeling lucky Tuesday and decided to gamble on a $20 Mega Cash ticket at the Speedway on Carolina Beach Road in Wilmington. He scratched off the card in the store’s parking lot and says he started shaking as the numbers added up.

“It’s fun to dream about, but you never expect it to you happen to you,” he said in a news release.

Eubank “immediately called his wife,” but made sure to first ask where she was before blurting it out.

“I could tell something was off from his voice,” Margaret Eubank said in a release. “He told me, ‘I just walked into the gas station and bought a scratch-off.’ I was kind of annoyed at first because of course he won something. So I asked him how much, not expecting anything big. When he said, ‘I think a million,’ I couldn’t believe it.”

The couple claimed the prize Wednesday and opted for a $600,000 lump sum, which was whittled to $424,506 after tax witholdings, lottery officials said.

Austin Eubank said he didn’t have anything special in mind for spending the money, but his wife told lottery officials she knew instantly their first purchase would be a fishing pole for their 14-month-old son, Baylor.

“We are a family who loves to fish,” she said in the release.

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