'Freaking awesome:' Creedmoor man revels in $1 million Powerball win

Friday, August 25, 2017
Anthony Johnson bought his lucky ticket at a Food Lion in Creedmoor.
Anthony Johnson bought his lucky ticket at a Food Lion in Creedmoor.

CREEDMOOR, North Carolina (WTVD) -- So who held that $1 million-winning Powerball ticket in North Carolina? It was Anthony Johnson of Creedmoor, whose split-second decision to play Powerball turned into a huge win.

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"I'm lucky," Johnson said. "I'm beyond lucky. I don't even know how to play the lottery."

Johnson decided to try his hand at Powerball on Wednesday night while he was at the Food Lion on East Wilton Avenue in Creedmoor.

"I got $20 cash back, and then decided, 'Why the heck not?' " Johnson said. He took $10 and asked the clerk for 10 quick pick tickets.

"She told me that would only get my five tickets," he said. "So I decided to give her the other $10."

Johnson put the tickets in his wallet and didn't look at them until the next day. He checked his phone at work and when he looked at the 6th ticket, the one he almost didn't buy, he knew he'd won something.

"I saw the highlighted numbers," Johnson said. "I was like, 'What is that?' When I realized what it meant, I started freaking out silently. I was shaking and sweating. I couldn't believe it. It's freaking awesome!"

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Johnson claimed the prize Friday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh. After required state and federal withholdings, he took home $695,010.

Johnson plans to use some of the money to pay bills, but he also wants to get a new couch.

"My wife and I have been wanting a new couch for a long time," Johnson said. "We have two dogs and kept going back and forth about whether it was worth it to get a new one. But now, we're going to get a real leather one."

Johnson also wants to take his family on a trip to the Grand Canyon and to visit his sister in Australia.

The ticket beat odds of one in 11,688,053 to match five white balls to win the $1,000,000 prize. It was one of 16 tickets in North Carolina to win a big prize in Wednesday's drawing.

Nine Powerball tickets won $50,000 and six Power Play tickets won $200,000 along with the lucky $1 million ticket that Johnson bought for Wednesday's drawing.

The Powerball jackpot climbed to $758.7 million as an annuity, or $480.5 million cash, before the drawing and was won by a single ticket sold in Chicopee, Massachusetts. It is the largest jackpot won by a single ticket for any lottery game in U.S. history.

Four North Carolina players have won Powerball jackpots in the past, winning $74.5 million to $188 million.