A 70-year-old Army veteran found himself counting cash on Veterans Day, after he won more than a quarter of a million dollars in the North Carolina Education Lottery.
Ernest Dodson bought the Cash 5 ticket at Sons of Nie, an Asian market in Greensboro, and realized the next morning that it was worth $276,688, lottery officials announced on Veterans Day.
He paid $1 for the ticket.
"I about fell over," Dodson said in the release. "I'm tickled to death that I can be debt free."
Federal and state taxes whittled his winnings to $195,757, but the Greensboro resident says that's still enough to pay off his car and his house, with some left over for fun.
He's got a plan for that, too.
"I'm also going to get a bigger TV so I can watch my favorite wrestling matches," he said in a release.
Cash 5 is a statewide draw game that gives players the chance to win a jackpot every single night. Tickets cost $1 and players can buy tickets at most lottery retailers. Jackpots start at $100,000.
Ticket sales from draw games like Cash 5 make it possible for the lottery to raise more than $700 million a year for education.