Allen Holderby, who served in the Army for 13 years, recently bought a $2,500 Frenzy scratch-off ticket at a gas station in Charlotte, according to KTLA sister station WGHP in Greensboro.
“I started shaking. My wife didn’t believe me either. When I called to tell her, she called me a liar,” Holderby said in a news release from the North Carolina Education Lottery.
Holderby claimed the prize on Thursday and decided to take a $600,000 lump sum. The veteran could have taken 20 payments of $50,000 a year.
After required state and federal tax withholdings, he took home $417,009.
He said the winnings will make his retirement “a little better,” the release stated.
Holderby is the first player to win a top prize since $2,500 Frenzy launched in July. Three top prizes remain.