Man Running for Congress Just Hit the Jackpot

Republican Josh McConkey will fund campaign in North Carolina with his half of $1.5M winnings
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 12, 2024 1:03 PM CST
Congressional Candidate Scores a Big Win—of Another Type
Josh McConkey with his winning "check."   (NC Education Lottery)

A North Carolina physician hit it big in the lottery earlier this month, and that money came just in time for him to fund his run for Congress. WNCN reports that Dr. Josh McConkey, who's also a colonel in the Air Force Reserve, matched all five balls in the Cash 5 drawing on Feb. 1, splitting a $1.5 million prize with another winner. Per the NC Education Lottery, McConkey will take home just over $540,000 after taxes.

"I am still really in shock," McConkey says. "It's pretty wild." He tells the News & Observer that before buying his ticket, he'd been waiting for his son to finish gymnastics practice when he spied a sign at a gas station showing the growing jackpot. He notes, "There has to be some divine intervention here." The Republican House hopeful says he plans to pump some of the funds into his campaign in the 13th Congressional District for the March 5 primary and will spend "whatever we need" now that he has more cash on hand.

McConkey says he believes his lottery windfall is "a gift that's dropped in our lap here for a reason." "It is definitely needed," he says in the lottery release. "It is going to help us and put us in a position to help North Carolina." McConkey also notes that he used a pretty standard formula to pick his winning numbers. "I have numbers that I use with my children's birthdays and my anniversary and those types of things," he says. (More North Carolina stories.)

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