Austin Eubank and his wife, Margaret, of Wilmington, with their $1 million lottery prize. PHOTO: NC Education Lottery
The captain of a sport fishing boat had the biggest catch of his life when he stopped to buy a drink at the Speedway on Carolina Beach Road in Wilmington on Tuesday.
When Eubank - who doesn’t normally play the lottery - got to the register, he said he ‘just had a lucky feeling.’
Based on that hunch he bought a $5 million Mega Cash ticket.
And not wanting to let the lucky feeling pass by him, he got in his car outside the station and started scratching.
On the first row he found that no numbers matched.
The second row showed a one number match. Thinking he had only won a few dollars, he kept scratching.
When he scratched to reveal the prizes section, he realized he had a $1 million lottery ticket in hand, he told the NC Education Lottery.
Shaking, Eubank immediately called his wife to share the good news.
“He said, ‘Babe, where are you?’” explained Margaret, who sells education software. “I could tell something was off from his voice.”
Austin Eubank bought his winning ticket at the Speedway gas station at 6234 Carolina Beach Rd, Wilmington. PHOTO: Google
He told me, ‘I just walked into the gas station and bought a scratch-off.’ I was kind of annoyed at first because of course he won something.”
“So I asked him how much, not expecting anything big. When he said, ‘I think a million.’ I couldn’t believe it. I was so excited!”
“You see it happening,” said Austin. “It’s fun to dream about, but you never expect it to you happen to you. This time it did.”
Eubank claimed his prize Wednesday at the North Carolina Education Lottery headquarters in Raleigh.
He had the choice of taking the $1 million as an annuity of $50,000 over 20 years, or a lump sum of $600,000. He chose the lump sum and, after tax withholdings, took home $424,506.
“We don’t really have any big plans,” said the father of one. “I think we are going to keep everything the same, but maybe just live a little more comfortably. We really don’t want to change a whole lot.”
His wife, however, had another idea.
Austin Eubank and his wife Margaret with son Baylor on deck. PHOTO: Facebook
“We will probably buy our 14-month-old son, Baylor, a new fishing pole,” said Margaret.
“We are a family who loves to fish. That’s where we will be tomorrow for the holiday, on the boat fishing.”
ABOUT MEGA CASH: The $20 ticket launched in May 2017 with three $5 million prizes and six $1 million prizes. One $5 million prize and one $1 million prize remain.
How the North Carolina Lottery distributes its scratch-off tickets in the state.