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Instinct leads Elizabeth City decorated Army veteran to $200,000 lottery prize

January 7, 2019 Posted by NC Lottery at 3:37 PM

After spending 30 years with Ft. Bragg’s 82nd Airborne Division, Howard Smack of Elizabeth City knows a thing or two about instincts. And it was those feelings, he said, that led him to a $200,000 lottery prize.

“For some reason I’ve always had good instincts,” said Smack, a Purple Heart and Bronze Star recipient.  “I’ve always followed them.”

He followed them straight to the Southgate on West Ehringhaus Street in Elizabeth City. While there, he bought three $5 Mega Millions/Powerball scratch-off tickets.

“I just had that feeling and I went for it,” Smack said. “I couldn’t believe it when I won. I may have screamed, just a little bit, I was so excited.”

He claimed the prize Monday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh. After required state and federal tax withholdings, he took home $141,501. Smack said he plans to save the money so he can be prepared for whatever happens in the future. 

“When you’ve served in the military as long as I have,” Smack said. “You always have a short-term and a long-term plan. This couldn’t come at a better time. Last year was a rough one. My father finally got a kidney after being on dialysis for years, so I’ve had to be there for him. This is such a blessing.”

The Mega Millions/Powerball scratch-off game launched in October with four top prizes of $200,000. Since Smack won the last top prize, the lottery will take steps to end the game.
Ticket sales from games like the Mega Millions/Powerball scratch-off ticket make it possible for the lottery to raise more than $650 million a year for education. For details on how $2.4 million in lottery funds made a difference in Pasquotank County last year, click on the “Impact” section of the lottery’s website.  


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1/09/2019 03:15 - michael b.

You deserve it and thanks for your service

1/09/2019 02:40 - Richard N.

Congratulations! buddy!..well deserved for such a great person..God bless you!

1/09/2019 07:23 - Patrice G.

My instinct tells me to quit playing because I do not have that kind of luck! But I don't listen to it! Congrats on the win and Thank You for Your Service!

1/09/2019 12:04 - Qiu L.

Hi, may I ask how many entries was received for the last week's "25 win quick cash" drawing? Also how many entries have been received for the "happy 2019" drawing? Thanks!NC Lottery
Of course! The 25 Win Quick Cash drawing has 214,334 entries and so far the Happy 2019 drawing has 372,177 entries.

1/08/2019 07:23 - Lavanda H.

I'm very happy to see someone finally won from my town Elizabeth city. It change my feelings I was beginning to have about the lottery.

1/08/2019 01:29 - cheryl c.

what a nice win for a deserving person who spent that many years in the military transition can be hard at times. thanks for serving.

1/08/2019 11:08 - DL H.

Congratulations!!! S/F~

1/08/2019 08:37 - Mary H.

Congratulations :)

1/08/2019 03:29 - Rosalind H.

This is Awesome! So happy for you sir & thank for your Service & Sacrifices while serving our country! ??

1/07/2019 11:45 - Kathleen K.

Thank you for your service...from one military family to another. May your father have a speedy recovery. God bless you & all that have & the ones currently serving to keep America safe.

1/07/2019 10:18 - Michael E.

Good for you I am glad you won this lottery and good luck in the future.

1/07/2019 06:41 - Gregory F.

What a great blessing to start the new year. It is good to see someone win big in north eastern north Carolina. I am happy for you. Thanks for your service to our country. Enjoy your blessing GOD Bless you.

1/07/2019 06:31 - Charlie H.

Congratulations Howard!

1/07/2019 04:02 - Gary C.

When you have and follow those special feelings they can lead you to wonderful things. Congratulations!!!

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