WDAZ: Your Home Team

Published December 07, 2009, 05:00 PM


George Nelson of Grafton won $1.1 million while playing the ND lottery on November 25th.

By: Joel Porter, WDAZ

A Grafton man is a millionaire thanks to a lottery ticket.

George Nelson won a state record one point six million dollars while playing the Wild Card 2 lottery last month.

Today the family talked about their recent fortune as well as their plans.

The Nelsons officially collected their winnings in Bismarck last week, but it took a few days before George knew he was the big winner.

Now the retired farmer is starting to re-evaluate his odds.

In his entire lifetime, the only prizes George Nelson can remember winning were a popcorn popper and an electric drill.

"I'm from back different times, when if I had two nickels, I'd rub them together and have to borrow one. We just started with nothing," Nelson said.

Nelson's luck changed two weeks ago. He bought a few tickets for the November 25th Hot Lotto drawing and wound up taking home the jackpot.

One million, 648 thousand, 155 dollars.

After comparing his ticket with the numbers in the newspaper, Nelson surprised his wife and two children.

"He just let us read the newspaper and we read it and there's these numbers and we pulled out the lotto ticket and we compared the numbers and there was nothing much said," George's son Ventzi said.

After taxes, the Nelsons won a little over one point one million.

"You can't get excited until you see that check, now that was a surprise! And they give you that check, I did have tears, it hit home," George's wife Charla said.

George says he plans to give most of the money to their two adopted children Ventzi and Asya, but will spend some on home improvement projects and his wife needs a new car.

"Live the life that we lived before and know that that's always there just in case something major needs to be done and it'll be good for us definitely." Ventzi said.

George's wife Charla says she's still getting used to the idea of saying Nelson and millionaire in the same sentence, but says the money won't change them one bit.

"I don't think that's the way they're going to talk about us at all. Because our friends will still be our friends, this will pass and we'll just be ourselves," Charla said.

And just like before, George says he has no plans to give up playing the lotto.

"When you're hot, you're hot, with multiple winners. I'm going to try and prove that theory," George said.

George's winning numbers were 2-6-7-20-29.

And the wild card... The jack of spades.