A sailor assigned to a destroyer heading to Spain next year got an early going-away present July 4 from the Virginia Lottery.
Gunner’s Mate 1st Class (SW) Christopher Kulp stopped by a Norfolk, Va., supermarket July 4 to pick up some corn on the cob and some shrimp — extra supplies for an Independence Day party. He also grabbed a $5 “Jewel 7’s” scratch-off ticket, which he scratched off in his car.
First he uncovered the game portion of the ticket, which showed he was a winner. Then he scratched off the prize — $100,000.
“My heart fell in my chest,” said Kulp, 28, on Wednesday in a phone interview from aboard the Nofolk-based Ross. “I sunk down in my seat.”
His first call went to his wife, who had never been a fan of his lottery-ticket tendencies.
“You know how you always tell me scratch-offs are a waste of money?” the conversation began. “Well, this one was worth 100 grand.”
Kulp said his wife didn’t believe him until he brought home the ticket. He couldn’t cash it in because the lottery center was closed for the holiday; he asked his chief if he could leave work a bit early July 5, and he entered the weekend up about $71,000, after taxes.
Kulp will move to Rota with his wife and soon-to-be-3-year-old daughter next year as Ross joins three other destroyers that’ll set up shop in Spain by 2015. That’ll help limit his big-ticket purchases, he said, explaining that most of the money will be invested — used to build a college fund and possibly to make a down payment on a house when his duty returns him to the states.
“Nobody’s hit me up for any money,” he said. “It’s nothing to retire on, anyway, and I love the job that I do.”