— NC Education Lottery (@nclottery) September 16, 2017
Mark Bruso’s bike ride down the east coast to re-visit his roots culminated in a big-time pay day.
Bruso is a former Marine who spent six years with the service. In July, the Massachusetts-native decided to take a bike ride down to Florida to visit the base where he was stationed. He met with some bad luck in Wilmington, North Carolina when he broke a spoke on this tire, but his fortunes soon changed.
While waiting to get his bike in working order, Bruso stopped and bought a scratch-off ticket. His first try at millions was a bust but after a sandwich at a deli, he says he made a spur-of-the-moment decision to pick up another ticket. The next scratch-off turned out to be a whopper — valued at $200,000.
Bruso claimed his prize on September 15, according to a press release from the North Carolina Education Lottery. He says when he first scratched the ticket, he couldn’t believe his eyes; recalling “I thought I was seeing things. I had to put my glasses on and make sure I was reading it right.”
The money (after taxes, he took home $139,003) went back into his bike tour. His next stop will be Parris Island where he went to boot camp.