Michael Buck was speaking with a pharmacy employee at a Walmart in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, ahead of this week’s record-breaking $2 billion drawing. He usually doesn’t play the lottery unless the prizes are really big, he told the state’s lottery officials.
“I usually start playing when the jackpot goes over $500 million,” he said. “The girl at the pharmacy told me they sold Powerball tickets at customer service.”
Buck said he walked over and bought one, making a promise to the employee on the way out. “I told her, ‘If I win I’ll come back and buy you a car.’”
He didn’t win the $2 billion – that massive prize went to a lucky Southern California resident – but the 62-year-old matched four numbers plus the Powerball to win $50,000. He doubled his prize with the Power Play 2X multiplier, winning $100,000, says the North Carolina Lottery.
After federal and state taxes, Buck got to keep $71,017 when he claimed his prize.
What about that promise he made to his new friend at the pharmacy counter?
“I didn’t hit the jackpot so I can’t buy her a car, but I’ll definitely bring her something,” Buck said. He told the North Carolina Lottery he plans to use a big chunk of his winnings to help him through retirement.
After Tuesday’s big win, the Powerball jackpot reset. As of Thursday, it was at $47 million.