FALL RIVER (CBS) – A local man who was struggling to make ends meet has hit it big.

James Freeman just became the first person ever in Massachusetts to hit the Powerball jackpot.

Freeman is a formal civil service worker for the Navy. He has been living on a disability check after injuring his back years ago.

He says he can hardly comprehend the check for $25.6 million.

“It’s unbelievable,” he said. “I don’t even know how much it is to tell you the truth.”

WBZ-TV’s Beth Germano reports

His strategy was simple. He plays the lottery every day. He has no special combination of numbers and always goes for the quick pick, just like he did yesterday.

Freeman, who doesn’t have a car, hitched a ride from longtime friend Russ Gamson to lottery headquarters. He already has a plan for some of the money.

“I’m going to get a Hyundai Elantra, that’s all I want,” Freeman said.

The jackpot ticket was purchased at Joe’s Market, right across the street from his Fall River apartment. The store gets $50,000 for selling the winner.

Comments (6)
  1. Frank says:

    Good for you James Freeman. I applaud your humble reaction and am glad it is going to someone deserving.

  2. chilitokid says:

    I chuckled at Mr Freeman’s comment about buying a Hyundai Elantra. He could actually buy a 30 foot RV and hire someone to drive iy.
    One bit of advice…..learn how to say NO…because you are going to have long lost friends and relatives, many you won’t even know, showing up at your door asking if they can ‘borrow’ 50 thousand dollars……guaranteed.
    Congratulations and enjoy it

  3. John says:

    would’ve preferred a group of people to have won it together because no one needs that much money. However now he can buy season’s tickets to the Sox, or any other team, and hopefully will donate some money to others down on his luck like he was. Congratulations Mr. Freeman.

  4. jaygee says:

    I think that Jimmy will soon find out that money can’t buy friends but it will definately get him a better class of enemy. One other rule for the new millionaire to follow is not to talk about money with people who have much more or much less than you.

  5. Debbie Freeman Worley Strohlin says:

    just wonder if he lived on long island in the 60’s and had a daughter named Deb and a son named Kevin

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