Raleigh, N.C. — An accountant from Durham has claimed a $1 million Powerball prize, state lottery officials said Tuesday.
Gary Crispens purchased the winning ticket in Saturday’s drawing at Kroger on Southwest Durham Drive. He matched all five white balls but not the red Powerball.
Crispens learned of his win Monday when he visited the store.
“When I went in, I had no idea,” he said in a statement. “I handed my tickets to the clerk and jokingly said, ‘I’m here to pick up my big money.’ She told me there had been a $1 million ticket sold there. When she scanned my ticket, she said I had won something big. Then she printed out the numbers and said I had won the big one.”
Crispens immediately called his wife to tell her the news.
“We took off work and came right over to the lottery headquarters,” he said. “This is just unbelievable.”
Crispens received a check for $680,000 after state and federal taxes were withheld. He said he plans to use the prize money to make home repairs, take an Alaskan cruise and save for retirement.
Crispens said he has predicted for years that one day he would win a big lottery prize.
“I’ve always been very lucky, and I just knew it would happen eventually,” he said. “In fact, I have won money three weeks in a row playing Powerball. I was just telling my wife that it was leading up to something big.”
Wednesday’s Powerball jackpot is now an estimated $320 million if taken as an annuity or $203.3 million if taken as a lump sum. It is the fourth-highest jackpot in the game’s history, lottery officials said.
Crispens is the fourth player in North Carolina to win a $1 million prize in the multistate Powerball. Before the game was updated in January, matching all five white balls was worth $200,000.
Since the North Carolina Education Lottery began through June 30, 2011, Durham County education programs received more than $40.1 million in lottery funds. By law, those funds pay for teachers’ salaries in kindergarten through third grades, school construction, pre-kindergarten programs for at-risk 4-year-olds, and need-based college scholarships and financial aid.
To date, the North Carolina Education Lottery has raised more than $2.45 billion for those initiatives statewide.