WESTMONT — A Willowbrook man is $2 million richer after purchasing the winning ticket at a Westmont convenience store last month.
Charles Malone, a Vietnam veteran and retired nurse from Edward Hines VA Hospital, formally claimed his winnings for the $2 million Powerball Lottery prize Wednesday after matching five numbers, and the Powerball number, in the March 16 Powerball drawing.
The Illinois Lottery held a check presentation ceremony at Falcon Pantry, 6601 S. Cass Ave., on Wednesday, where Malone was formally introduced as the winner.
Malone said his wife, Abby, originally told him that he had won after she scanned the ticket that her husband purchased the day after the drawing in the lottery ticket checker at Falcon Pantry, and she called him at home when she believed he won.
"She was all hysterical when she called, and I drove over to the store and scanned the ticket myself, and it said I matched five numbers," he said. "That is when it hit me that I won. I was shocked."
But Malone also said he wanted to keep it 'low key" and hardly told anyone except his family that he won, until now.
Malone said he always buys his lottery tickets at Falcon Pantry, and for that drawing, purchased $25 in quick picks when the winning numbers came up.
After taxes, Malone will receive $1.4 million, and the store will receive $20,000 for selling the winning ticket, lottery officials said.
Malone and his wife have six children and 15 grandchildren that he will share the prize with. They also are looking at buying their "dream house" and have identified one they may look to purchase in Clarendon Hills, a specific house that Malone said he and his wife drive past all the time.
"I'm also going to trade in my Cadillac and get a newer model," he said.
Ila Parikh, the Falcon Pantry employee who sold Malone the ticket, said it is very exciting for her, and the store, which is owned by her husband. She said Malone comes in the store all the time for tickets, and was happy that "a regular customer" was the winner.
They will use the $20,000 to make some repairs and upgrades at the store, Parikh said.