ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. – Howard Smack, who spent 30 years with Fort Bragg’s 82nd Airborne Division, is used to following his instincts. This time, they led him to a $200,000 lottery prize.
“For some reason I’ve always had good instincts,” said Smack, who received a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star during his service. “I’ve always followed them.”
He followed them straight to the Southgate on West Ehringhaus Street, where he bought three $5 Mega Millions and Powerball scratch-off tickets.
“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.”
He claimed the prize Monday, and took home $141,501 after state and federal tax withholdings. Smack said he plans to save the money so he can be prepared for whatever happens in the future.
“When you’ve served in the military as long as I have, you always have a short-term and a long-term plan,” Smack said. “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.”