Posted on: February 12, 2024, 07:58h.
Last updated on: February 12, 2024, 07:58h.
The odds of any old Joe Schmo winning the lottery are millions to one, which means the odds of a Republican congressional candidate from North Carolina winning it must be absolutely stratospheric.
But that’s exactly what happened to Josh McConkey, a doctor and US Air Force Reserve Colonel from Apex, N.C., who hopes to land a congressional seat in next month’s primary.
McConkey matched the numbers on all five balls while playing the NC Education Lottery’s Cash 5 game in the February 1 draw. He split the $1.5 million prize with one other winner for $757,577.
“This is quite a day,” McConkey told the Lottery. “I am still really in shock. It’s pretty wild.”
Actually, the odds of matching five balls in Cash 5 are not millions to one, but one in 962,598, according to the Lottery’s website. That bodes well for McConkey, who is facing just 13 opponents in his bid for a seat – far more surmountable odds.
When quizzed on his lottery strategy, McConkey told The News&Observer that he used the numbers he always used – “my children’s birthdays and my anniversary and those types of things.”
But he added he suspected “there has to be some divine intervention here,” presumably leaving his 13 opponents to wonder why God had chosen to curse them.
So, what can North Carolinians of the 13th District expect if McConkey represents them in Congress? A set of robust policies that prioritize national security and combatting the opioid crisis by securing the southern border, according to his campaign website.
Building the War Chest
On the economy, he pledges to support “fiscal discipline, sound monetary policies, and tax reform,” which suggests he won’t be going crazy with his winnings — although the promised tax reforms will come too late to soften a $215,907 hit on the windfall. McConkey will take home $541,670 after state and federal taxes have been applied.
No, rather than splurging on designer bathrobes, smart toasters, and other luxury goods, this lottery winner will be plowing the money into his campaign war chest. Because running for Congress is hellishly expensive.
“I think the only thing we might have been lagging in (is) with some of those resources, and that ability … to get some of that message out, which now, with this amazing windfall, is not going to be an issue for us at all,” he told The News&Observer.
“It is going to help us and put us in a position to help North Carolina,” he said.