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Impulse buy nets retiree Powerball jackpot

Martha Waggoner Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. – Retired Asheville Fire Department employee Frank Griffin is $47 million richer, but he has few grand plans for the money. He mainly wants to spend more time with his wife.

“I may get us a new house later, but I really want to spend more time with her and my grandchildren,” Griffin said Monday at a news conference where he was introduced as the sole winner of the $141 million Powerball lottery jackpot.

Griffin chose the $69 million cash over the $141 million annuity. That equals about $47 million after state and federal taxes are paid, said Tom Shaheen, executive director of the North Carolina Education Lottery.

Griffin, 66, said he had $5 left over after buying gas Saturday so he bought five tickets, letting the machine choose his numbers. A friend said, “you ain’t going to win that,” Griffin recalled.

He plans to use the money to take care of his family and to travel with his wife, Loretta, to Hawaii. He also plans to play more golf and to help his church.

When asked how their lives would change after winning the money, Griffin replied: “It won’t change that much.” Loretta Griffin, 65, made a face, indicating her disagreement.

Later, she said she thought the money would make their lives easier. “We just won’t have to worry about bills,” she said. “And you know, he won’t have to work as hard.”

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