Zebulon, N.C. — 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.