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Vietnam veteran wins $100,000 Powerball prize a week before Christmas

NCEL Powerball Winner Benjamin Estioko Jr.

North Carolina – Benjamin Estioko Jr. of Shelby said he’s celebrating the holiday early after he won a $100,000 Powerball prize.

“I feel so lucky,” Estioko said. “This is a very happy day.”

The Vietnam Navy veteran’s good luck happened when he stopped by the Cleveland Food Mart on Warren Street in Shelby and bought a $3 Power Play Powerball ticket for Wednesday’s drawing.

He found out he won the next morning.

“I had to double check and triple check the numbers,” Estioko said. “When I told my wife she thought I was scamming her. I figured she’d finally believe me when I show her the check.”

Estioko claimed the prize Friday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh. After required state and federal tax withholdings, he took home $70,502. He plans to use some of the money to pay off his wife’s car.

The ticket matched the numbers on four of the white balls and the Powerball to win $50,000. Because he added the $1 Power Play feature, the prize doubled to $100,000 when the 2X multiplier was drawn. The ticket beat odds of one in 913,129.