James Bombard of Fayetteville said he had an extra reason to be grateful this Thanksgiving after he won a $100,000 Powerball prize.

“It feels like I’m in a dream,” Bombard said. “I couldn’t be more thankful.”

The Army veteran’s good fortune happened Wednesday when he decided to go to the lottery’s website and buy a Powerball ticket. He woke up Thanksgiving morning to an email telling him he’d won.

“I thought maybe I’d won a few dollars,” Bombard said. “When I saw that I’d won $100,000, I couldn’t believe it.”

Bombard claimed his prize Monday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh. After required state and federal tax withholdings, he took home $70,502. He plans to use the money to get a new car and go back to school.

“I’m planning to go back to Florida and finish my bachelor’s in golf management,” Bombard said. “I was always planning to finish, but now I’ll be able to.”

The $3 ticket matched four of the five white balls and the red Powerball to win $50,000. Because Bombard added the Power Play feature, the prize doubled to $100,000 when the 2X multiplier was drawn. The ticket beat odds of one in 913,129.

Players can buy Powerball tickets at any retail location or through Online Play on the lottery’s website, www.nclottery.com. Players who buy their tickets online will receive an email notification if they win. The jackpot for the next drawing is $171 million or $98.7 million cash.

Ticket sales from draw games like Powerball make it possible for the lottery to raise more than $650 million a year for the state. For details on how lottery funds have made a difference in all of North Carolina’s 100 counties, click on the “Impact” section of the lottery’s website.