James Montgomery of Sanford won a $1 million Powerball prize on a routine visit to the grocery store.
“If I have a spare dollar or two when I’m shopping, I’ll buy a lottery ticket,” said Montgomery. “I’d joke that I was putting it into my retirement fund.”
Montgomery, an Army veteran with 22 years of service, purchased a $1 Quick Pick Powerball ticket at the Food Lion on Buffalo Lake Road in Harnett County.
“I barely slept an hour last night,” said Montgomery. “I dreamed for many years for something like this. I just thought if it’s meant to be, it’ll happen.”
Montgomery checked his numbers on his phone while pumping gas, then got back into the car with his wife and drove home – without saying anything about his big win.
“I didn’t say anything at first, just put my phone back in my pocket,” said Montgomery. After getting home and unpacking the groceries, Montgomery asked his wife to go on a walk so they could talk about something important.
“The last time he said something like that, he was being deployed,” said his wife.
Montgomery and his wife claimed his prize Monday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh. After required state and federal tax withholdings, he took home $707,501. They plan to use the money to pay off bills and save for retirement, with a little travelling here and there.
“We don’t intend to change who we are,” said Montgomery. “This money will make life a little easier so we can focus on what’s important, but we’ll still be living the same life.”
The ticket matched the numbers on the five white balls to win $1 million, beating odds of one in 11.7 million.
The $1 million prize was one of two won in Saturday’s drawing nationally and a ticket sold in the U.S. Virgin Islands won $2 million. No one won Saturday’s jackpot. The jackpot will climb to $181 million as an annuity or $112.1 million cash for Wednesday’s drawing.