SANFORD, N.C. (WNCN) — A routine visit to the grocery store netted one local veteran a $1 million prize.
Sanford resident James Montgomery, an Army veteran with 22 years of service, says he purchased a Quick Pick Powerball ticket on Saturday while at the Food Lion on Buffalo Lake Road in Harnett County.
“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,” he told lottery officials.
Montgomery says he barely slept the night before but says he dreamed “for many years for something like this.” He said, “I just thought if it’s meant to be, it’ll happen.”
While pumping gas, Montgomery checked his ticket and realized that his numbers of 2-29-41-45-62, matched the five white balls, making him a winner. He says he got back into his car with his wife and did not say anything about the 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.
Though he won $1 million prize, after required state and federal taxes, he took home $707,501.
Montgomery says he and his wife intend to use the money to pay off bills and save for retirement, with a little traveling 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 odds of matching all five white balls is 1 in 11.7 million. Montgomery was one of two nationally to win a $1 million prize on Saturday.