Retired Army Master Sgt. Mustafa Abraham of Harnett County has been playing the lottery for years, and on July 13, his loyalty paid off with a $485,270 Cash 5 jackpot win.
“I’ve won before, but nothing like this,” said Abraham. “I just feel very lucky.”
Abraham has bought his lottery tickets from the same store, the Linden Oaks Liberty on N.C. 24/87 in Cameron, for years, and that day was no different.
“Everyone at the store knows me,” he said. “I’ve been playing the same Cash 5 numbers since 2006. But I didn’t win on that, I won on a Quick Pick.”
Abraham checked his tickets online the next day. His winning $1 ticket was the last one he checked.
“When I saw the four numbers, I turned that ticket over and I checked the computer to see if there was a winner,” recalled Abraham. “Then I got up and left. When I came back to the computer, I just flipped the ticket over and that’s when I realized that I won. As soon as I saw the last number, I got on my knees and I thanked God.”
Abraham, who retired after serving 20 years and now works with soldiers at Fort Bragg, claimed his prize Friday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh. After required federal and state tax withholdings he took home $343,329.
“I’m going to share with my family, help my son with his college, fix my house up, and be very, very, thankful,” said Abraham. “And I will continue playing the North Carolina lottery for the rest of my life.”