Michael Rosenbrock purchased the winning ticket at a local Food Lion grocery story, at first thinking it was a losing scratch-off

By Benjamin VanHoose
December 26, 2019 03:26 PM
Michael Rosenbrock
Credit: NC Education Lottery

One North Carolina resident definitely found himself on the Nice List this Christmas season.

While stepping out to grab last-minute ingredients for the holiday meal he planned to prepare for guests, Michael Rosenbrock of Mint Hill picked up a lottery ticket to test his luck.

“I’m hosting the family this year,” he told North Carolina Education Lottery representatives. “I wanted to make sure I picked everything up early. I’m making ham, meatballs, stuffing — the whole shebang.”

When he returned home from the local Food Lion grocery store, he scratched the lotto ticket at his living room table. But it wasn’t a jumping-for-joy moment right away, however — he initially thought the scratch-off was a loser.

“I didn’t think I won anything at first,” Rosenbrock said. “It’s a good thing I always enter my tickets into the second-chance drawings or I would have thrown it away.”

The man said he “couldn’t believe it” when the 20X The Cash ticket that he paid $5 for was worth $250,000.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE’s free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories

Rosenbrock, who claimed his winnings on Monday in Raleigh, will walk away with $176,876 after required state and federal taxes are subtracted, according to the lottery officials.

As for how the lucky winner plans to spend the newfound fortune, Rosenbrock has a decidedly altruistic plan for the money: start his own nonprofit organization.

“There are so many things that we take for granted,” he said. “Clean water, food to eat, a roof over our head. Doing nonprofit work is something I’ve always wanted to do.”

The lottery raises more than $700 million each year toward the state’s education system, according to its official website, through sales of games like 20X The Cash, which still has one top prize remaining.

Moneys garnered through the North Carolina lottery is dispersed for needs like school construction and repairs, scholarships and student transportation, among other areas of support.