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A North Carolina man was recently the sole winner of a $344.6 million Powerball jackpot, drawn on June 1. In a video of the award acceptance, winner Charles W. Jackson Jr. from Hope Mills, North Carolina mentioned how he’s been buying his tickets from the same place for years and how he imagines the store must be celebrating his win, too.
That store turns out to be Carlie C's IGA on North Main Street in Hope Mills and owner Mack McLamb is indeed grateful for their piece of the windfall, which will bring in $50,000 to the store. The timing is perfect, he noted.
“We are in the process of embarking on several hundreds of thousands of dollars in a remodel of the store and we plan to have a celebration with customers and staff as well later in the fall once the store is back in order,” he said.
McLamb said his initial thoughts were with Jackson, who he hopes will be able to join in the store celebration. “Many of the staff recognized him as a regular customer. We’re very excited for him.”
In his first public appearance as a jackpot winner, Jackson, who is 66 and retired, admitted he doesn’t know how he will spend most of the money, but that he plans to donate to three charities: St. Jude’s Children’s Research, Shriners Hospital for Children, and the Wounded Warrior Project. He also hopes to visit Vietnam, where his wife is from.
Five of the six winning numbers originated from the back of a fortune cookie prophecy that Jackson’s stepdaughter had received a few years ago. He had used the same five numbers on Powerball and Mega Millions every week since, mixing up the sixth number from time to time. “I never expected to win. I just got lucky,” he said in his acceptance interview, which is reported on powerball.net.
According to powerball.net, the $344 million jackpot is the largest prize ever paid out to a North Carolina player. Jackson opted to take the lump sum payment of $223 million, which will end up as a $158 million payout once federal and state taxes have been paid out.
As luck would have it, this is the second big win in a month’s time for Carlie C’s, which has 25 stores across North Carolina. On Mother’s Day weekend, a woman in Fayetteville, N.C., won $1.35 million from a ticket her sister bought for her at the Cedar Creek store. That win brought in $10,000 to the store as a reward bonus, said McLamb.
As for other big payouts in the Tar Heel State, Marie Holmes from Shallotte, North Carolina won a third of one of the largest Powerball jackpots in history when she matched the full winning line to claim a share of the $564 million jackpot on February 11, 2015, powerball.net reports. A single mother, Holmes insisted that her main priority was to use the money to support her four children, one of whom has cerebral palsy. She hoped to spread the word about the condition, as well as give some of her winnings to religious and charitable organizations.
Retired firefighter Frank Griffin previously held the record for North Carolina’s biggest win, having landed a jackpot of $141 million on February 6, 2010.