Durham man realizes he has $1 million lottery ticket while pumping gas

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The way Richard Valentine sees it, it was just “dumb luck” that led him to a $1 million lottery prize.

Valentine, a facilities operations specialist who lives in Bahama in Durham County, walked into the Kangaroo Express on N.C. 54 on Wednesday, hoping to buy one of the new holiday scratch-offs. The store didn’t have the one he wanted, Holiday Gold, so he switched to another $10 ticket, Platinum 7’s. Then, while pumping gas, he scratched his way to the game’s top prize.

“Dumb luck,” Valentine said later that day at lottery headquarters. ”Nobody wins this because they plan on it. You stumble onto it.”

The hardest thing, Valentine said, was making sure his eyes were not tricking him. He said he left the convenience store, went to a nearby Hardee’s, and sat there alone with the $1 million ticket. “I looked at the numbers, multiple times, probably 30 times,” Valentine said. “I thought I was seeing things. It’s just one of those things that doesn’t want to sink it.”

A $1 million prize in the game can be claimed in 20 annuity payments of $50,000 or a one-time payment of $600,000. Valentine chose the lump sum, worth $415,503 after required withholdings. He said he planned to put the money into savings.

WNCT-TV 9 On Your Side provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s