RALEIGH — Bill Gregory was at home in Raleigh with his family on Christmas Day when the chief financial officer of the N.C. Museum of Art called to say he’d won a red 2014 Porsche Cayman through a raffle he entered at their general opening.
He didn’t yell or scream with excitement, the museum’s Chief Financial Officer Caterri Woodrum said. There was a just a long pause.
“He was shocked, very shocked,” Woodrum said of Gregory. “Shocked is probably a mild term. I would say flabbergasted.”
Gregory, 40, was hanging with a few friends at the museum’s exhibit showcasing notable Porsches when he bought two of the 2,500 raffle tickets sold. Considering the odds, he 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.”
His name was electronically chosen at random by an accounting firm to win the red metallic 2014 Cayman with the black leather interior 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, a faculty member at Johnston Community College in Smithfield and the father of a 4-year-old, said his buddies at first thought he was crazy.
But Gregory explained Tuesday that there “hidden costs” that came with the prize, starting with a 28 percent sales tax he was expected to pay 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.
Alexander: 919-932-2008; Twitter: @jonmalexander1