'Make life a little easier:' Sanford Army veteran wins $1 million Powerball during grocery store trip

SANFORD, N.C. (WTVD) -- An Army veteran from Sanford won a $1 million Powerball prize on a routine visit to the grocery store.

James Montgomery, an Army veteran with 22 years of service, bought a $1 Quick Pick Powerball ticket 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," he said. "I'd joke that I was putting it into my retirement fund."

Montgomery checked his numbers on his phone while pumping gas, then got back into the car with his wife and drove home - without saying anything about his big 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," his wife said.

Montgomery and his wife claimed his prize Monday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh. After required state and federal tax withholdings, he took home $707,501. They plan to use the money to pay off bills and save for retirement, with a little travelling 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."
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