BOSTON (CBS) — Edward Prakapas is still pinching himself.
On Saturday night, he checked his Powerball numbers, and couldn’t believe his eyes. “I look up and I see the numbers, I get my ticket. I’m looking, I’m looking at the TV, I’m looking at my numbers. I said, I think I just won something big.”
Big is right: a $2 million winning ticket.
He’s splitting the money, $1.4 million after taxes, with his friend Daniel McCarthy. They have been buying lottery tickets every week together since 1985. Just last year, they decided to start playing MegaMillions and Powerball. They sat together on the bench outside Jimmy’s Korner Store in South Boston, and each picked three numbers.
Prakapas, a retired Public Works Supervisor, called McCarthy with the news. “When I told him he couldn’t believe it. I hear his wife in the background screaming jumping up and down.”
This windfall follows a year of tragedy for the Prakapas. They lost their daughter two months ago. Edward has also been dealing with health problems.
He says when he realized he won, he first thought of his daughter. “I couldn’t believe it. I’m saying my daughter is shining upon us from heaven,” he says looking toward the sky. “This is a Godsend, it really is.”
For the first time in a long time, the Prakapas are celebrating. They’re planning to first pay off their bills, buy a new car, help out their children and grandchildren, and hopefully find a small place in Florida.
Wherever they go, South Boston will always be home. And Edward and Daniel plan to keep playing their numbers.