Retirement became a whole lot sweeter for a North Carolina Army veteran whose lucky day came this week.

Stanley resident Allen Holderby won the $1 million prize after he bought a $2,500 Frenzy scratch-off lottery ticket from the Oakhill Deli & Grill on Oakdale Road in Charlotte.

Holderby elected to take a $600,000 lump sum rather than split his winnings into 20 years of annuity payments. After taxes, he took home $417,009.

“I couldn’t believe it at first,” he said. “I started shaking. My wife didn’t believe me either. When I called her, she called me a liar.”

Holderby’s wife, Janet, said her husband has pulled pranks before. But once she saw the ticket, there was no questioning his authenticity.

Holderby spent 13 years in the Army.

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“I’ve done it all,” he said. “I was infantry, special forces, a paratrooper.”

Holderby becomes the first person to win the top prize available with the $2,500 Frenzy. The game launched last month.

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©2017 Gaston Gazette, Gastonia, N.C. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.