“I was actually stopping to get gas,” he recalled. “I went in to go use the facilities, and on the way in I found a penny, heads up, on the ground. And I was like, ‘Hey! Find a penny, pick it up, all day long you’ll have good luck, right?’”
On the way out, the new February scratch-off tickets caught his eye.
“I was like well, I guess now that I have a penny I have to use it!” laughed Wray. “And I thought, well these are new, let’s grab one of these. And the first one, pop. I’m looking at it like, this can’t be right.”
He claimed his prize Wednesday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh and, after required federal and state tax withholdings, took home $176,876
“I still don’t feel like I really get it,” he said. “It’s surreal.”
Wray purchased his winning $5 ticket at the Quik Trip on North Chester Street in Gastonia.