North Carolina Purple Heart recipient wins $200,000 on scratch-off ticket

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ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. — Howard Smack has a Purple Heart, a Bronze Star and now over $140,000.

A veteran of 30 years service with Ft. Bragg’s 82nd Airborne Division, Smack’s good luck struck at the Southgate on West Ehringhaus Street in Elizabeth City.

Following a gut instinct, the veteran bought three $5 Mega Millions/Powerball scratch-off tickets, the North Carolina Education Lottery said in a news release.

“I just had that feeling and I went for it,” Smack said. “I couldn’t believe it when I won. I may have screamed, just a little bit, I was so excited.”

After taxes, Smack took home $141,501 and plans to save the cash for a rainy day.

“When you’ve served in the military as long as I have,” Smack said. “You always have a short-term and a long-term plan. 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.”

Smack’s win is the last of four $200,000 prizes in the Mega Millions/Powerball scratch-off. The lottery will now begin ending the game.

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