Albany man claims $1 million lottery prize

A 50-year-old Albany man won a $1 million lottery prize from a June 29 Powerball drawing.

Eric Bankston purchased his winning Quick Pick ticket at a Kangaroo Express convenience store in Albany, according to a Louisiana Lottery news release.

Bankston, who recently moved back to Louisiana from the state of Washington, purchased the ticket while on his way to visit friends.

His ticket matched all five regular white ball numbers drawn but missed the special Powerball number.

Bankston claimed his prize at Louisiana Lottery headquarters in Baton Rouge.

While the prize is advertised as being worth $1 million, Bankston actually received $700,000 after federal and state taxes were withheld, the release says.

Bankston said when contacted by telephone Tuesday that he claimed his prize about a week ago.

Bankston declined further comment, saying he has already been inundated with calls about the prize.

Bankston told Louisiana Lottery officials that he loves sailing and he’d like to buy a new boat with his newfound earnings.

“It’s surreal. I don’t believe it,” he said in the news release. “I won’t believe it until the money is in my account.”

The Kangaroo Express store will receive a bonus of $10,000, or 1 percent of the prize, for selling the ticket.