HARKER HEIGHTS — Nolanville resident and Army veteran Scott Rowe is still in a state of disbelief after finding out he won $1 million in Old Navy’s Overnight Millionaire Black Friday Sweepstakes.
Rowe, 35, and his family gathered Wednesday with store officials in the Harker Heights Old Navy store, where he was presented with his $1 million check.
“We had Thanksgiving dinner and decided to do some shopping and that’s when we found out about the contest,”
Rowe said. “I was standing in line behind like 300 other people and I was joking with a lady in front of me who already had a (contest) bracelet on that she didn’t have to worry about the rules because I had already won.”
Little did he know, he would get a phone call that would change his life Friday.
“When I got the call after picking up my mom from the Killeen airport, I thought it was a prank,” he said. “You fill out those sweepstakes forms and then you forget about it because the odds of you actually winning are not possible.”
According to Julie Luker, Old Navy spokeswoman, Rowe was randomly selected from more than 500,000 sweepstakes entrants from stores across North America. The first 500 people who entered an Old Navy store on Black Friday were given a game piece, which they later had to register online to be eligible for the grand prize.
“When the call came through, I thought to myself ‘there is no way this is happening to me,’” Rowe said. “The good Lord has shined down on me and my family and blessed us with this.”
Scheduled to go back to Afghanistan in 11 days to resume training explosive detection dogs, Rowe recently submitted his letter of resignation.
“This is the first time in four years I will be home for Christmas,” he said. “I’m just looking forward to spending quality time at home with my family.”
His daughters, Paityn, 6, and Keiley, 7, received an early Christmas gift this year: being able to open gifts together as a family.
“I’m really happy my daddy doesn’t have to go back to Afghanistan,” Paityn said.
Keiley said she is looking forward to opening presents face-to-face this year, instead of via Skype.
Despite being a $1 million richer, his No. 1 objective with the money is to secure his daughters’ futures.
“I can set them up to go to college now without having to worry,” he said.
“Sure, I’ll buy some things here and there and we will go on some family trips, but my No. 1 priority is my girls and there well-being.”
Steve Stickel, senior vice president and head of stores for GAP, said Black Friday comes and goes and the company wanted to do something special this year and reach out to its customers.
“Here at GAP we sell more than just clothes,” he said. “We set out to make a difference in someone’s life with this contest and no one is more deserving than Scott. His story is magical.”