$750K Lottery Win for North Carolina Congressional Candidate

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A would-be state politician has won a $757,577 jackpot this month from the North Carolina lottery.

Josh McConkey, a doctor and Air Force Reserve colonel from Apex, North Carolina, hit the jackpot win in early February.

He is just days away from starting his campaign to be the next Republican candidate for North Carolina’s 13th district in upcoming elections.

“This is quite a day,” McConkey said, speaking to the lottery earlier this month. “I am still really in shock. It’s pretty wild.”

The Congressional hopeful plans to use the funds for his campaign. He split the $1.5 million jackpot prize with another winning player, who chose to remain anonymous.

After taxes, an issue on which McConkey has promised to campaign for reform, his windfall comes out to be $541,670.

Divine Intervention

McConkey, who served a tour of duty in Iraq, said his lottery purchase was a spur of the moment one, and that he is not a frequent player.

His winning ticket was bought online on January 31. The purchase was inspired by seeing the lottery jackpot advertised at a gas station in Apex while waiting for his son to finish gymnastics practice.

As he had done when previously playing the lottery, McConkey picked his children’s birthdays and his marriage anniversary for his numbers.

When he received the winning email, the former emergency physician had to double-check with his wife to see that it wasn’t a possible scam.

“This is divine intervention,” McConkey said in a media interview.

“There’s no other way to explain it. The timing is just absolutely perfect. Literally, God is reaching out and giving me the opportunity to get out my message of security, safety, and service.”

Position to Help

Unlike most lottery winners, McConkey will not spend his winnings on any designer goods, houses, charities, cars, or holidays. Instead, he will put it into the war chest for his upcoming political campaign.

McConkey’s campaign is to center on his desire to combat the fentanyl opioid crisis. He says he sees the effects of the dangerous drug every day in his work as a physician.

His website says he will promote increased security at the southern U.S. border, as well as robust programs aimed at educating young people to prevent drug addiction.

“I’m running to secure the border and stop kids from dying, because I see it every day,” he said.

When asked what the lottery win could do for his campaign, McConkey said it would be huge.

“It is definitely needed… to get some of that message out, which now, with this amazing windfall, is not going to be an issue for us at all,” he said.

“It is going to help us and put us in a position to help North Carolina.”

The odds of winning any lottery jackpot are incredibly small. But that doesn’t stop some even more unlikely wins occurring now and then.

In 2023, one New York lottery player defied astronomical odds to hit his second $10 million jackpot prize in two years.

Although $775K will no doubt help McConkey’s campaign, it — like most U.S. lottery wins — pales in comparison to the $1 billion jackpot hit by one California lottery player early in 2023.

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