Aug. 5 (BP) — A North Carolina man thought that he was out of luck when he saw a $272,829 lottery jackpot hit — then realized that he had just bought the winning ticket.
Pernell Shoulars Jr., 44, of Fayetteville purchased the ticket at a local gas station last Friday, and when he saw the jackpot come up, he thought that it had been won already.
“I thought someone else hit it right before me,” Shoulars told the North Carolina Education Lottery. “Then [the clerk] told me, ‘You did it, you hit it.'”
“We’re just ecstatic,” Shoulars said, adding, “We’re going to enjoy it, but we’re going to be smart with it too.”
Shoulars, who works as a contractor, immediately called his wife to celebrate the good news.
His wife was with friends at the time and “popped some champagne to celebrate.”
Shoulars’ winning ticket came off a $10 Triple Win ticket on the Fast Play game, which uses a rolling jackpot that grows with every purchase, the lottery said.
As he bought a $10 ticket, he would win 100 percent of the jackpot, earning him the full six-figure grand prize.
Following a jackpot, the Fast Play starts over at $20,000, according to the lottery. It had grown to $89,000 by Thursday morning.
Despite Shoulars’ big win, the lottery reiterated that “the odds of winning a Fast Play jackpot are 1 in 320,000.”
The lottery has been in the news recently following a $1.28 billion Mega Millions drawing, one of the largest available prizes in lottery history.
While rushes to buy tickets were seen across the country, that jackpot was won in July by a single purchased ticket in Des Plaines, Ill.
Even with the low odds of winning a lottery jackpot, successful tickets can sometimes be found in unexpected places.
A Maryland man recently made headlines after he found an unused lottery ticket in his car’s glove box that ended up being worth $30,000.
The man told the lottery that the win would help him “get back to the quiet life.”
Another Maryland winner ended up netting a $101,340 jackpot, which would become her third lottery grand prize in the past six years.
Staying still in Maryland, another woman won $25,000 after she picked her winning numbers based on her sister’s dream.