RALEIGH, N.C. — Roosevelt Howard’s dream of winning a big lottery prize so he could buy a new home came true last weekend when he won a $1 million top prize, according to the NC Education Lottery.
On July 18, Howard, who is from Raleigh, stopped at the Circle K on South Saunders Street in Raleigh and bought a few lottery tickets, including his lucky $10 Red Hot Riches ticket.
“I usually don’t buy this ticket that often,” Howard said. “But Saturday evening I said I’d get one, and it just happened to be the right one.”
The following morning, Howard took his tickets out to the front porch.
“I said I’d scratch my tickets off before I get to grilling and see what I got,” he said.
Once Howard started scratching his winning ticket, more and more “flame” symbols started revealing themselves.
“I saw three to start with and said, ‘Well, at least I got my money back,’” he recalled. “And then I kept going and kept seeing more little symbols, and when I got to ten of them, I hadn’t even looked at the ledger to see what ten of them amounted to for the prize! I counted them again to make sure I had won $1 million.”
Howard claimed his prize Monday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh.
He had the choice of taking the $1 million as an annuity of 20 payments of $50,000 a year or a lump sum of $600,000.
Howard chose the lump sum. After required state and federal tax withholdings, he took home $424,503.
“I’ve always had a dream of winning something like this,” Howard said. “Knowing that I can buy my wife a new home and just help some family members and some other people in need. Thank the Lord.”
Howard, a forklift driver for 46 years, says his big win won’t change his work ethic.
“I could retire if I wanted to, but I’m going to keep working because I enjoy what I’m doing,” he said.