COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Two Columbus County men don’t only share family ties, they are now sharing a nearly $1.5 million lottery jackpot.
In-laws James Williamson of Chadbourn and Christopher Pridgen of Whiteville have claimed the $1,482,698 Cash 5 jackpot.
“I texted James and asked him if he wanted to get tickets together once the jackpot was over $400,000," said Pridgen, a hog farmer. "He agreed, and we each started chipping in 10 bucks.”
On Wednesday, Williamson bought $20 worth of Cash 5 tickets at the Time Saver Food Mart on Washington Street in Whiteville.
The lumberyard equipment operator checked the tickets when he got to work the next morning.
“I looked at the tickets and was like, ‘Oh my! I think I got all the numbers,’” Williamson said.
“It’s just surreal,” Pridgen said. “You see the numbers but you can’t believe what you’re seeing. It’s a complete feeling of shock.”
Pridgen and Williamson claimed the jackpot at the N.C. Education Lottery headquarters Thursday afternoon in Raleigh.
After state and federal tax withholdings, the two will split $1,049,010. Pridgen told lottery officials he plans to start a college fund for his two children while Williamson said he plans to invest his winnings.
“I always dreamed of winning,” Williamson said. “I never thought I actually would. It’s just incredible.”