NC man's cigar craving turns into $1 million Powerball win

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Friday, July 22, 2022
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Huge Mega Millions drawing tonight

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WTVD) -- A North Carolina man's cigar craving led him to a grocery store where he unknowingly walked out with $1 million from a Powerball ticket.

John Gerenza, from Charlotte, matched numbers on five white balls in Saturday's drawing to win a nice chunk of change.

He claimed his prize Thursday at lottery headquarters and, after required federal and state tax withholdings, took home $710,101.

"Obviously I was ecstatic," said Gerenza, 62. "We still don't believe it actually."

He said he would like to use some of his winnings to take a family vacation to the beach.

Saturday's Powerball drawing offers a $119 million jackpot, or $69.2 million in cash. The odds of winning a Powerball jackpot are 1 in 292 million.

On Friday night the Mega Millions jackpot, that is the third largest in the game's history, will be up for grabs.