Things have turned around for a Louisiana flood victim.
James Lapeze, a 72-year-old man from the city of Central, recently won a $1 million Powerball Prize, according to a release from the Louisiana Lottery. The fortuitous win comes after Lapeze’s house was damaged in August’s floods that left at least 13 dead and damaged about 40,000 homes.
The winner, who claimed his prize last Friday, said he was in shock over his good fortune.
“I checked my numbers over and over again,” Lapeze, who lives in the city of Central, said in the release. “I even had my wife check them because I really couldn’t believe that I won!”
The 72-year-old, who plays the lottery every week, won from an Oct. 1 lottery drawing. He’ll end up with a total of $700,000 in winnings after taxes. He said he’d use the money to pay off his house and retire, Kimberly Chopin, director of communications for the Louisiana Lottery, said in an email to The Huffington Post.
Lapeze wasn’t the only one who took home a win. Romero’s Food Mart, the store that sold the ticket, also received $10,000.
The win proved particularly special for those close to people affected by the devastating floods, Chopin told HuffPost.
“Watching so many of our friends, family and neighbors in the greater Baton Rouge area struggle in the aftermath of the recent flooding, it is especially pleasing to see lottery winnings help a regular player face an adversity.”