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REGIONAL: With ‘a wish and a dream,’ Gaston County man wins jackpot

Contributed

Gary Grant of Mount Holly was buying a birthday cake when he decided to check a few Cash 5 tickets, and one of them won him a $1,127,585 jackpot.

“It was my kid’s birthday so I was going out to get a cake and I had old lottery tickets I needed to cash in,” recalled Grant. “I got down to the last ticket and it said ‘Winner! Go to lottery headquarters.’ I could barely believe it.”

Grant, a driver for a solid waste services company, won the jackpot in the May 22 drawing. He purchased his lucky Quick Pick ticket at Lee’s Quick Stop on North Main Street in Mount Holly.

When he found out he hit the jackpot, he called his wife to share the good news. “I told her, ‘You’ll never believe it, but I just won a million dollars,’” he recalled. “When she found out I won, she started crying.”

Grant says he was “amazed” by his good fortune. “When I got back to the house, as soon as I got out the car, I was jumping up and down.”

Grant claimed his prize Tuesday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh. After federal and state tax withholdings, he took home $797,767.

“It was an amazing feeling and still is hard to believe,” said Grant. “I was holding on to a wish and a dream. I never would have thought that I’d be a winner.”

Grant says he plans to buy a new home with his winnings. He plans to continue working and “use the rest wisely.”