RALEIGH — On Christmas Day, Bill Gregory was at home with family when the N.C. Museum of Art called to say he’d won a red 2014 Porsche Cayman through a raffle he had entered.
The Johnston Community College instructor didn’t yell or scream with excitement, said Caterri Woodrum, the museum’s chief financial officer. There was a just a long pause.
“He was shocked, very shocked,” Woodrum said of Gregory, a Raleigh resident. “Shocked is probably a mild term. I would say flabbergasted.”
Gregory, 40, and a few friends were at the museum’s exhibit showcasing notable Porsches when he bought two of the 2,500 raffle tickets sold. Considering the odds, Gregory said he had looked at the purchase as a donation to the museum. Instead, he got an unexpected Christmas present.
“It was quite a disbelief,” Gregory said. “I was not expecting on any level to win this automobile. I just never thought this would happen.”
Woodrum said: “It was nice to see someone (win) who really just wanted to support the museum, who really had no expectation of buying that car at all. Nice to see someone like that come away with such an extraordinary win.”
An accounting firm chose Gregory’s name electronically at random to win the metallic red 2014 Cayman with black leather seats.
Gregory was ecstatic. He had never won anything.
But his ownership was short-lived. The next day, with the blessing of the museum, he sold the car valued at $83,660 back to the dealership.
Gregory, the father of a 4-year-old, said his buddies at first thought he was crazy.
But Gregory explained Tuesday that “hidden costs” came with the prize. Among them: a 28 percent sales tax that amounted to nearly $30,000.
“I’m in education, and right now there are other things I need to pay attention to more than a brand new Porsche,” he joked. One of the employees told him to put the money away and maybe one day come back to buy a Porsche from the dealership.
Gregory declined to say how much the dealership paid him for the high-performance car, but he’s looking forward to making some home improvements and taking a trip with his wife.
“It’s half her car, too,” he said.