Salisbury man uses family members’ Powerball picks to win $1 million

Published 11:46 am Wednesday, May 20, 2020

SALISBURY — Jonathan Gonzalez asked his grandparents, uncle, father and sister for help with a Powerball ticket. And the good luck they shared won him $1 million.

“I had them each pick a number from one to 69,” Salisbury resident Gonzalez said in a news release. “And those were the numbers I played.”

Armed with his numbers, he was off to the Speedway, located at 3410 S Main St., to buy his ticket.

Those lucky numbers matched all five white balls in the drawing, beating odds of 1 in 11.6 million to win the $1 million prize.

“I picked the Powerball number and that was the only one I didn’t match,” he said.

Gonzalez plans to use the money to help his family members, who lost their house in a fire last year a day after his birthday. He also plans to pay off his mortgage.

He claimed his prize on Monday at the lottery headquarters in Raleigh. After state and federal tax withholdings, he took home $707,501.

The jackpot for Wednesday’s Powerball drawing is an estimated $95 million or $76.7 million cash.

Ticket sales from draw games like Powerball make it possible for the lottery to raise more than $700 million per year for education. For details on how $7.5 million raised by the lottery impacted Rowan County last year, visit and click on the “Impact” section.

Albemarle man wins $5 million

An Albemarle man also won $5 million on a $20 scratch-off ticket. James Fleming Jr. purchased his ticket at the Food Lion on U.S. 52 North in Albemarle, according to the Stanly News & Press. He claimed his prize Monday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh. He had the choice of taking an annuity of $250,000 a year over 20 years or a lump sum of $3 million. Fleming chose the lump sum and after required state and federal tax withholdings, he took home $2.1 million.

The scratch off game launched in August 2019 with three top prizes of $5 million and six $100,000 prizes. One $5 million prize and four $100,000 prizes remain to be claimed.