His wife ‘thought it was a fake’ — but man’s huge NC lottery win will help him retire

Courtesy of the North Carolina Education Lottery.

Ray Flowers Jr. recently got the urge to buy a particular scratch-off lottery ticket.

When the 66-year-old got to the Fuel Market in New Bern, North Carolina, though, he changed his mind about which ticket he wanted and opted for a $10 Jumbo Bucks ticket, he told lottery officials, according to a Dec. 5 news release.

“Something just drew me to that one,” he said.

The last minute change worked out well for Flowers. His ticket earned him a $1 million prize.

“I was probably more dumbfounded than anything else,” Flowers told officials.

After seeing his prize, Flowers went home to show his wife. But she was more skeptical, he said, according to officials.

“She didn’t believe me,” Flowers said. “She thought it was a fake ticket.”

Flowers said the prize comes as a relief.

“I’ve been thinking about semi-retiring and this will help with that,” Flowers, who works in sales merchandising, told officials. He also plans to help out his family and his church.

The winner picked up his prize on Friday, Dec. 2, and opted to take home a lump sum amount. After state and federal tax withholdings, Flowers left the lottery headquarters with $426,063.

New Bern is about 115 miles southeast of Raleigh.

If you or a loved one shows signs of gambling addiction, you can seek help by calling the national gambling hotline at 1-800-522-4700 or visiting the National Council on Problem Gambling website.

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