Local News

Zebulon lottery player is two-time winner

Posted March 5, 2013

— When it comes to playing the lottery, Homer Buffaloe is a two-time winner.

The farmer from Zebulon won $1,144,821 in Sunday’s Carolina Cash 5 drawing, lottery officials said Tuesday. It’s the largest single-ticket jackpot in the history of the game.

He can add that money – $778,479 after taxes – to half of a $408,066 ticket he won in a November 2010 drawing on the same game.

For those doing the math, that's a total of $1,348,854 before taxes.

"I play Cash 5 because the odds are better,” Buffaloe said in a statement released by the North Carolina Education Lottery. “Lightning strikes twice sometimes, and I hope to come back again.”

Buffaloe said he chooses his own numbers, rather than using automated picks. The numbers he selected for Sunday’s drawing beat odds of 1 in 575,757 to win.

“The numbers just come to me,” he said. “This time felt the same as it did the last time I won it. I guess I’ve always been lucky. Every time I buy a ticket, I feel like I’m going to win.”

Buffaloe bought Sunday’s winning ticket at the One Stop Shop on Mitchell Mill Road. He did not say what he plans to do with his winnings.

“We’re so happy that this winner had such amazing luck twice. The fact that he broke a record that stood for more than five years is remarkable,” lottery spokesman Chris Bushnell said, referring to the last time the same player won twice.

Three players split a $1,355,000 Carolina Cash 5 jackpot in a May 2011 drawing. The next largest prize was awarded to a Greenville player who won nearly $857,000 in a November 2007 drawing.


This story is closed for comments. Comments on WRAL.com news stories are accepted and moderated between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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  • godshelper Mar 5, 4:43 p.m.

    Is it really worth risking jail time to avoid paying taxes on money that you did not have to work to earn....I don't think so. Pay the taxes and enjoy the rest.

  • zenonx6 Mar 5, 4:42 p.m.

    Glad for the guy. I heard he's a nice fella.

  • zenonx6 Mar 5, 4:39 p.m.

    Guess that makes me a two time looser.

  • MonkeyFace Mar 5, 4:31 p.m.

    they take out taxes before they hand you the check...der.

  • carolinarox Mar 5, 3:55 p.m.

    congrats...I wish I had won...He only has to pay taxes ONCE on his winnings 32%(25% Fed + 7% State)...he'll be taxed AGAIN on INTEREST gained at the end of the year....#lotterywinner

    I didn't see the article mention if he's married, but he will pay 39.6% on the amount over $400K if he's single or $450K if he's married. He might decide to put all of the money in tax exempt muni bonds or something and not have to pay tax on the gains. Or he could hide it in the Caymens or Switzerland, but I don't think he has quite enough to do that. There are tons of ways to avoid paying federal and often state and local taxes on gains.

  • Uhavenoclu Mar 5, 3:32 p.m.

    Thats some wierd tax accounting you got going on. U.S. tax is progressive meaning it is tiered and the rate gets higher at certain income levels. In 2012 he pays 35% on income over $388,351 minus $30,861.

    Nothing gonna save your one last dime cause it own you
    Through and through The databank knows your number.
    Says you gotta pay cause you made the grade last year.
    Feel it when you turn the screw Kick you 'round the world.
    There ain't a thing that it can't do,
    Do to you - Yeah!

    Read more: AC/DC - WHO MADE WHO LYRICS

  • hollylama Mar 5, 3:12 p.m.

    When will NC get the big prize? Powerball or Mega.

  • baldchip Mar 5, 3:09 p.m.

    God bless you Mr Buffaloe-I hope you will share with your church and family.

    This can make a difference in one's life if properly managed.

  • wake_up_jeff_0 Mar 5, 2:57 p.m.

    congrats...I wish I had won...He only has to pay taxes ONCE on his winnings 32%(25% Fed + 7% State)...he'll be taxed AGAIN on INTEREST gained at the end of the year....#lotterywinner

  • Strawberry Letter 23 Beth Wilson Mar 5, 2:40 p.m.

    LUCKY DUCK! Well, good for him. Gosh, winning twice, too! I'm glad he has good luck. I agree about the C5. Even though it pays considerably less, I think it's a good game to play.