$1 million lottery prize will help Gaston County Army veteran with retirement

A $1 million lottery win will make retirement a little better for Army veteran Allen Holderby, the NC Education Lottery announced on Friday. 

Holderby served in the Army for 13 years. “I’ve done it all,” Holderby said to Lottery officials. “I was infantry, special forces, a paratrooper.”

The big win came after he bought a $2,500 Frenzy scratch-off ticket at the Oakhill Deli & Grill on Oakdale Road in Charlotte.

“I couldn’t believe it at first,” Holderby said. “I started shaking. My wife didn’t believe me either. When I called to tell her, she called me a liar.”

“He’s pulled pranks before,” his wife Janet said. “I wouldn’t believe him until I saw the ticket. It feels unreal, it hasn’t sunk in yet.”

Holderby claimed the prize Thursday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh. He had the choice of taking a $1 million annuity that has 20 payments of $50,000 a year or a lump sum of $600,000. He chose the lump sum. After required state and federal tax withholdings, he took home $417,009.

Holderby is the first player to win a top prize since $2,500 Frenzy launched earlier this month. Three top prizes remain.