RALEIGH – Gary Crispens, an accountant from Durham, said that he’s predicted for years that one day he would win a big lottery prize. His prediction came true as he collected a $1 million Powerball prize he won in the Saturday’s drawing.
“I’ve always been very lucky and I just knew it would happen eventually,” Crispens said. “In fact, I have won money three weeks in a row playing Powerball. I was just telling my wife that it was leading up to something big.”
Crispens matched all five white balls in Saturday’s drawing, but not the red Powerball. He learned of his win on Monday when he visited the Kroger on Southwest Durham Drive in Durham, where he purchased the winning ticket.
“When I went in, I had no idea,” Crispens said. “I handed my tickets to the clerk and jokingly said ‘I’m here to pick up my big money.’ She told me there had been a $1 million ticket sold there. When she scanned my ticket, she said I had won something big. Then she printed out the numbers and said I had won the big one. I immediately called my wife and said ‘Honey, we’re millionaires.’ We took off work and came right over to the lottery headquarters. This is just unbelievable.”
After state and federal taxes were withheld, Crispens received a check for $680,000. He plans to use the prize money to make home repairs, take an Alaskan cruise and save for retirement.
Wednesday’s Powerball jackpot is now an estimated $320 million if taken as an annuity or $213.3 million if taken as a lump sum, the 4th highest jackpot in the game’s history.
From the beginning of the jackpot’s roll on June 27 through the Aug. 11 drawing:
• Crispens is the 4th player to win a $1 million prize in North Carolina. Before the game was updated in January, matching all five white balls would have been worth $200,000.
• Powerball sales have totaled more than $22.4 million in North Carolina.
• More than $6.5 million was paid out to players across the state.
• More than $8.5 million was raised for education in North Carolina.
Since the lottery began through June 30, 2011, Durham County education programs received more than $40.1 million in lottery funds. By law, those funds pay for teachers’ salaries in grades K-3, school construction, prekindergarten programs for at-risk four-year-olds, and need-based college scholarships and financial aid.
To date, the N.C. Education Lottery has raised more than $2.45 billion for these initiatives statewide.