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$200,000 jackpot 'couldn't come at a better time' for Army veteran

By NOAH FEIT | The State | Published: January 9, 2019

COLUMBIA, S.C. (Tribune News Service) — An Army veteran who won a six-figure jackpot Monday said the prize “couldn’t come at a better time,” according to a news release from the North Carolina Education Lottery.

The $200,000 prize came after a “rough” year for Howard Smack, who served in Fort Bragg’s 82nd Airborne Division, the news release stated. Smack received a Purple Heart and Bronze Star during his for 30 years in the Army.

“When you’ve served in the military as long as I have, you always have a short-term and a long-term plan,” Smack said in the news release. “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 Elizabeth City man won his prize on a $5 Mega Millions/Powerball scratch-off ticket, according to the N.C. Lottery’s news release.

Smack said he “had that feeling and I went for it,” buying three tickets, N.C. Lottery reported in the news release.

“For some reason I’ve always had good instincts,” said Smack, in the news release. “I’ve always followed them.”

Smack’s final prize was $141,501, after deductions were made for “required state and federal tax(es),” according to the news release.

“I couldn’t believe it when I won. I may have screamed, just a little bit, I was so excited,” Smack said in the news release.

Smack’s jackpot was the final of four grand prizes in the game. The N.C. Lottery “will take steps to end the game,” according to the release.

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