Stephen Moore walked into a Flash Foods store in Fitzgerald and plunked down a dollar for a lottery ticket because he was tired of waiting outside in the cold while his brother and a friend shopped for snacks.
The Army staff sergeant, stationed in South Korea, was a week into a 30-day leave. And even though he'd told friends before leaving for Fitzgerald that he'd win the lottery while he was home, he had never played the game seriously.
On Wednesday, Moore became the largest jackpot winner in state history when his ticket matched all six numbers for Tuesday's Mega Millions drawing for a $150 million prize.
The 30-year-old soldier picked the cash option -- worth $88.9 million before taxes.
"I told my mom to go ahead and quit work," he said Wednesday. He also plans to build a home for his wife and two daughters.
And he intends to finally come through with the dream wedding his wife, Danielle, also an Army staff sergeant, had wanted. Nine years ago, they were married by a justice of the peace.
Moore, a chemical specialist who has been stationed in Korea for nine months, has 10 more years of service left, his mother said.
"[President] Bush needs to call my house and tell me my baby don't have to go back to Korea, that he can stay home," Annette Moore Crawford, 47, said from her Fitzgerald home. Despite her son's offer, Crawford said she plans to return to work as a clerk at a hardware distribution center in Tifton -- but in a Mercedes-Benz if she can persuade her son to buy her one.
Moore found out he was a winner when he came home late Tuesday night and found his wife waiting in the yard.
"She came out the door and I thought I was in trouble," he said. "She said, Guess what, we won the lottery!"
Danielle Moore had checked the results online. The couple went inside and began calling relatives.
"That's when the comedy started," Moore said.
Moore's brother, Rodney, said when the couple called to tell him the news, he replied "Yeah, right" and handed the phone to his wife.
"I could hear [Danielle] screaming on the other end of the phone and I thought, Oh heck, he did win," the winner's brother said.
A factory worker, Rodney Moore, 28, said he played the lottery for two years before giving up without winning as much as a dime. "My brother, he promised me some of his money," he said. "So I guess you could say I finally won some."
The winning numbers were 2-26-37-40-46 and the Mega Ball number was 49.
All day Wednesday, the multimillion dollar lottery winner was the talk of Fitzgerald, a town of about 8,700 people in South Georgia.
A steady stream of customers walked through the Flash Foods store on North Grant Street after word had gotten around that the winning ticket was sold there.
The store is eligible for a $25,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket.
Because residents didn't know the identity of the winner Wednesday afternoon, they settled for the next best thing -- meeting Sara Miller, who sold the ticket.
"They'd all say 'I wish I was him' but they were all glad that somebody in Fitzgerald finally won something for a change," said Miller, 39.