WILLIAMSTON, Martin County - Williamston resident Willie Bland came forward to claim the $670,292 Cash 5 jackpot after days of swirling speculation of who the winner might be.
Following the June 23 drawing, it was seemingly all folks of the small town of less than 6,000 people were talking about after state election officials revealed the ticket had been purchased at the Williamston Family Fare - a BP gas station on Main Street.
Bland stopped in to the same store where he bought the ticket days later, hearing from the clerk that the winning ticket had been bought there. He heard about it again from a waitress at a local diner.
"I thought, 'Wait a minute,' I bought a ticket at the BP station," Bland recalled.
He raced home, finding his Cash 5 ticket with numbers that matched all five of the winning numbers.
"I started hollering and shouting," Bland said. "What am I going to do now?"
He came to a quick conclusion on that - at least for part of his winnings. Bland told lottery officials he plans to use part of his winnings to make his disabled mother's house wheelchair accessible.
Bland claimed his prize Thursday at the Raleigh office. After required state and federal tax withholdings, he received $463,006.
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