$344.6 million Powerball jackpot won in North Carolina

A 66-year-old grandfather from Cumberland County has come
forward to claim his $344.6 million Powerball prize, making him the largest
jackpot winner in state history.

For over
two years, Charles W. Jackson Jr. has played Powerball and Mega Millions with
the same numbers twice a week in hopes of winning it big. Little did Jackson
know, when he made a routine stop at the Carlie C’s IGA on North Main Street in
Hope Mills on Friday, his dreams of winning it big would come true and his life
would change forever. 

Jackson’s
lucky ticket matched all six numbers in Saturday’s drawing, winning a $344.6
million prize. It’s the largest jackpot in state history. 

“You play
to win,” said Jackson. “But you never really expect to win the whole dang pot.” 

On Sunday
morning, Jackson didn’t check his tickets like usual. Monday passed — he had
still forgotten. It wasn’t until Tuesday morning when he pulled out his lucky
ticket that he realized just what he was holding. 

“I didn’t
see it all at first,” said Jackson. “I thought I had only matched four of the
five white balls. I thought that meant I had only won $50,000. I called my wife
and told her, ‘I need to go to Raleigh. I won something!’”

After he
hung up the phone, Jackson quickly realized he had won a lot more than $50,000.

“I decided
to check again,” said Jackson. “I saw the last number and thought, ‘I’ve won
the whole thing!’ I didn’t know how much I had won until I googled it. I couldn’t
believe it! I still can’t believe it. I’m numb.”

The winning numbers in the Saturday, June 1 drawing were white balls 6, 15, 34, 45, 52, plus Powerball 8.

Powerball Jackpot Winner
image source: Powerball.com

Jackson was presented with his big check at a ceremony at
lottery headquarters on Tuesday evening. He had a choice of an estimated
annuity of $344.6 million paid in 30 payments over 29 years or a lump sum
payment of $223.3 million. He opted for the $223.3 million lump sum payment.

The
after-tax winnings of $158 million, Jackson said, is life-changing, but won’t
change who he and his family is and what they are about.

“It
probably won’t change much,” said Jackson. “I mean, let me put it this way, I
will still wear jeans. But I will probably buy some new ones!”

In addition to buying some new jeans, Jackson said he wants to
spread a little joy and pay it forward.

“I want to
do something good,” said Jackson. “I’m going to donate to St. Jude Hospital,
the Wounded Warriors Project and the Shriners. I always said I would if I ever
won the lottery. So I’m going to make due on that promise.”

In addition
to $1.6 million in ticket sale commissions statewide, the store that sold the
jackpot-winning ticket, Carlie C’s IGA in Hope Mills, will receive a $50,000
retailer incentive award. 

For the next drawing on Wednesday, June 5, the
Powerball jackpot resets to a guaranteed $40 million; $25.9 million cash value.

This was the second time the Powerball jackpot
has been hit this year. The Powerball jackpot was previously won in Wisconsin
in the March 27 drawing. A single winner claimed that jackpot worth $768.4
million – the third-largest jackpot in U.S. lottery history.

Lotteries.com is please to congratulate Charles W. Jackson Jr. on his American Powerball win.

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