RALEIGH — Fredderick Russell Carroll of Coats went nearly three weeks without realizing his Powerball ticket won him a $1 million prize.

“Honestly, I put it in my wallet and forgot about it,” he said. “I’ve been all over the place and I had a million dollars in my pocket. We’ve been working around the ponds and everything and I didn’t know!”

Carroll bought his winning Quick Pick ticket from Shri Sharda Petroleum on East Stewart Street in Coats.

I was hoping, like everybody, to win something,” he said. “Me and my son were together and we decided just to give it a shot and buy one.”

His lucky $2 ticket matched the numbers on all five white balls in the May 19 drawing. The odds of matching all five numbers in a Powerball drawing are 1 in 11.6 million.

Carroll stopped at a convenience store Tuesday morning and used the machine to scan his ticket, but to his surprise, was greeted with a notification to bring his ticket to lottery headquarters.

“When I got to headquarters, the lady ran it and told me how much it was,” said Carroll. “It took me a little bit. I didn’t realize I had won anything.”

Carroll claimed his prize Tuesday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh. After required federal and state tax withholdings, he will share $707,501 with his wife, Princess, and his son.

“I want to pay my bills off and I’m going to get my wife in to see some doctors,” he said. “That’s my main priority.”

Wednesday’s drawing offers a $20 million jackpot as an annuity prize or $13.8 million cash. The odds of winning a Powerball jackpot are 1 in 292 million.

Players can buy Powerball tickets through Online Play on the lottery’s website, www.nclottery.com, with the NC Lottery Official Mobile App, or at any lottery retail location.

Draw games like Powerball make it possible for the lottery to raise more than $725 million a year for education. A $10 million grant, using money raised by the lottery, will help Harnett County build a new Northwest Harnett Elementary School, which aims to accommodate a 950-student enrollment capacity.

— Submitted