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Republican congressional candidate wins $700k lottery prize

Josh McConkey is a physician and Air Force Reserve colonel, and is also running for Congress  (NC Education Lottery)
Josh McConkey is a physician and Air Force Reserve colonel, and is also running for Congress (NC Education Lottery)

A Republican candidate has won over $700,000 in the lottery and is now hoping for a second win of the year: a congressional seat.

Josh McConkey, from North Carolina, bought a lottery ticket with the samer numbers that he has been playing with for years.

“I have numbers that I use with my children’s birthdays and my anniversary and those types of things,” he said in a news release by NC Education Lottery.

On 1 February, the numbers were finally picked, landing him with over $750,000 in winnings.

Mr McConkey collected his winnings from the lottery headquarters the following day. The prize was $757,577, but after required state and federal taxes, he took home $541,670.

The lottery had a $1.5m jackpot, but the money was split between the congressional hopeful and another player who also bought a winning ticket. The odds of matching the numbers on all five balls playing Cash 5 is one in 962,598.

“This is quite a day,” McConkey said. “I am still really in shock. It’s pretty wild.”

Mr McConkey is a physician and a colonel in the US Air Force Reserve, but is currently setting his sights on a new venture in politics.

The prize money will come in handy for this pursuit, he said, as he will use his winnings to support his campaign.

“It is definitely needed,” Mr McConkey said. “It is going to help us and put us in a position to help North Carolina.”

Mr McConkey is one of many candidates hoping to win the 13th district seat of North Carolina in Congress, reported The News&Observer.

“These additional resources are definitely going to help, but I think the campaign has gone very well for us thus far,” he told the outlet, adding that he feels his lottery prize was a “gift that’s dropped in our lap here for a reason.”

He posted on X that he and his family are very grateful for the win, saying he is now focused on the 5 March primary election where he’s hoping “lightning strikes twice!”