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Retired Coast Guardsman claims NC lottery prize — and his wife can’t believe his luck

·1 min read

A retired Coast Guardsman won big in the North Carolina lottery — and his wife was left in disbelief.

Ronald Statzer woke up early Thursday and checked his Powerball tickets, discovering one of them matched enough numbers to be worth $1 million, according to the N.C. Education Lottery.

“I went to the internet to verify the numbers,” Statzer said in a news release. “I saw the first one come up, the second one, the third, the fourth one, and then the fifth one. And I said, ‘Oh my God,’ and I went downstairs and told my wife.”

That’s when he asked her: “How does it feel to be a millionaire?” But she couldn’t believe her husband’s luck, officials said.

“She said, ‘What?’” Statzer told lottery officials. “And I said, ‘I just won $1 million.’”

It turns out, the prize was very real, with Statzer’s ticket beating 1-in-11.6 million odds to win big in Wednesday’s drawing.

Statzer celebrated his win after he tried his luck on a $2 Powerball ticket. He bought it at a 7-Eleven convenience store in Elizabeth City, roughly 165 miles northeast of Raleigh.

The lottery announced that Statzer claimed his prize a day after officials said the $1 million prize winner hadn’t come forward, McClatchy News reported. He kept $707,501 after taxes.

“One of the first things I am going to do is pay off my truck,” Statzer told the N.C. Education Lottery. “Other than that, I don’t know. Not yet. We will be thinking about it.”

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