WASHINGTON – New Hampshire Republican Sen. Judd Gregg (search) has won $853,492 in the Powerball lottery. D.C. Lottery officials handed the senator an oversize check for the full amount when he went to stake his claim at the lottery office on Thursday.
Gregg told FOX News he bought $20 worth of tickets at a Citgo gas station in Washington, D.C. He said he was driving by and decided to buy some gas, and he doesn't usually play the lottery. Gregg later added that he bought the winning ticket on Monday when he was on his way from Baltimore, Md., to the Capitol, where a vote was being held.
He said he nearly walked off with three of the four pages of numbers before the cashier called him back for the last page. He said he believes that page held the winning ticket.
Wednesday's jackpot was worth $340 million, the largest in the game's history. One ticket sold in Oregon matched all six numbers drawn in Wednesday's lottery. More than 4.4 million other people shared $34 million in smaller prize handouts.
Though Gregg will have to pay about 35 percent of his earnings in federal income tax, New Hampshire, where he files his taxes, will not get a chunk of the money.
"We have no taxes in New Hampshire. No sales tax, no income tax. All you should come up there, spend some time, enjoy yourselves," he said, adding that he's not going to be quitting his job because of the winnings.
Gregg's wife, Kathleen, was abducted and then released in 2003 by two men who forced her to withdraw money from her bank. Both men are serving long sentences in a Virginia prison.
Asked what he intended to do with the money, the senator replied, "Whatever my wife tells me." He thought the money would probably go to renovating their home.
FOX News' Trish Turner contributed to this report.