You can say life literally changed overnight for a 66-year-old North Carolina man. That's because Charles Jackson, Jr. woke up Tuesday morning and realized he was the winner of the $344 million Powerball jackpot. The winning numbers were drawn Saturday night.
Jackson said he didn't check his ticket until Tuesday morning and realized he had won--but he thought at first he had only won $50,000. He said at first glance he thought he had only matched four of the five white balls. Jackson said he called his wife "I need to go to Raleigh. I won something." He decided to check the ticket again and realized he had won, in his words, "the whole dang thing."
He said he googled to find out how much the whole dang thing was--which was $344 million. "I still can't believe it. I'm numb," he said during the news conference. Jackson also revealed he uses the same fortune cookie numbers to play Powerball and Mega Millions twice a week.
The North Carolina Education Lottery announced Sunday morning that the winning ticket was sold at Carlie C's IGA in Hope Mills, NC, which is in Cumberland County. The winning Powerball numbers, for the June 1 drawing, are 6, 15, 34, 45 and 52, PB 8 and the Power Play was 2X.
Jackson chose the lump sum of $223.3 million. He actually walked away from the lottery office with $158 million after taxes were deducted. He said the win won't change who he and his family is and what they are about. Jackson said the millions won't change much, in fact he said he'll still wear jeans and probably buy some new ones!
He also plans to pay it forward and make some donations to charity.
The winning ticket was the talk of the town and surrounding areas after the news spread that someone had hit it big in Hope Mills.
According to NC Education Lottery officials, Jackson’s win marks the seventh time North Carolina has won either a Powerball or Mega Millions jackpot. The state has seen five Powerball jackpot wins and two Mega Millions jackpot wins. His win eclipses the previous North Carolina jackpot record of $188 million that was won in February of 2015.