Coast Guard Academy instructor wins $1M Powerball prize

New London — An instructor at the Coast Guard Academy planning for his upcoming wedding is $1 million richer thanks to the Powerball lottery. The $1 million prize is before taxes.

A first-time lottery player, Lt. Andrew Norberg's "Quick Pick" ticket matched the first five numbers drawn Wednesday night.

Norberg, 29, teaches nautical sciences at the academy.  

"It was at a point so high that I needed to try it," Norberg said when reached by phone Thursday night. If it's ever that high again, he said he'd probably play again. "I'm pretty happy after this."

The Powerball numbers for the record-breaking $1.6 billion jackpot were 4 – 8 – 19 – 27 – 34 and Powerball 10

"I've never played the lottery before so I wasn't actually sure that I had won," Norberg, a 2008 Coast Guard Academy graduate, said.

Sitting at his desk Thursday, he asked a coworker what the odds were if you matched five of the numbers but not the Powerball number.

So Norberg was pretty shocked when the coworker informed him he was a winner.

Norberg purchased his ticket at Sully's Mobil at 382 Vauxhall St. in New London.

Store owner Patrick "P.J." Sullivan said his store is fast becoming "what you would call a very lucky location," for lottery games.

An Electric Boat employee snagged a $25,000-a-year for life prize last year after playing a Lucky For Life game.

Sully's sold a $4.5 million Connecticut Classic Lotto ticket to a Waterford man in 2012. 

Sullivan said there has been a $100,000 and multiple $30,000 lottery winners.

Sullivan called the days leading up to Wednesday's drawing "total insanity," with the number of people buying tickets. 

For selling the winning ticket, Sully's Mobil will receive a $2,500 check from the Connecticut Lottery.

Of the 350,629 prize-winning Powerball tickets sold in Connecticut for Wednesday night's jackpot drawing, three $1 million prize wins were sold in Fairfield County, Hartford County and New London County, according to lottery officials.

Norberg is getting married in April and said that some of his winnings will go toward that.

"Probably a good honeymoon is where it's going to go," he said.

Norberg and his fiancé, who is also in the Coast Guard, are thinking about going on a sailing cruise in the Mediterranean for their honeymoon.

He joked that when he finally reached her by phone, she mentioned the popular idiom, "What's yours is mine, and what's mine is yours."

Norberg also plans to put some of the money towards his retirement and will make some donations.

Sullivan said he couldn't be happier for Norberg.

"I think it's absolutely tremendous, especially being a first time player. Good for him," Sullivan said.   

j.bergman@theday.com

Twitter: @JuliaSBergman

Staff reporter Greg Smith contributed to this report

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