Before we get to this week's big winners, let's talk about the big jackpots on the line heading into the weekend. The Carolina Cash 5 jackpot for Friday's drawing is estimated at $215,000 – and could be won or grow larger. Mega Millions players on Friday could win a $70 million jackpot if taken as an annuity ($52.2 million cash value). Saturday's Powerball jackpot, meanwhile, stands at $100 million if taken as an annuity ($63.5 million cash value). Best of luck, y'all!
So, who were the biggest winners of the week? Nobody won more than Champakbhai Patel, a resident of Salisbury in Rowan County: $1 million. He purchased his winning Holiday Millions ticket at Danny's Place on West Main Street in Rockwell. One $1 million prize remains to be claimed in the game.
Players can enter non-winning Holiday Millions tickets into a drawing here in the Lucke Zone for a chance to win $3 million, the largest second-chance prize the NCEL has ever offered. The date of the drawing has not been scheduled; stay tuned for an announcement.
A pair of Carolina Cash 5 jackpots were awarded this week. Ellen Moye of Ayden in Pitt County matched all five numbers in the Jan. 13 drawing to win $112,133. A Rhode Island woman, Carolyn Cameron of Warwick, won her $122,817 jackpot in the Dec. 20 drawing. Both players beat odds of 575,757 to win.
William Parker Jr. of Rocky Mount scratched off a $150,000 instant prize playing the 10X the Payout game. “I was just walking along and scratching the ticket,” Parker said. “I saw how much it was worth and I just stopped in the street and looked at it. I started walking again, then a couple of blocks later I had to look at it again. That’s when it hit me. I just started screaming and yelling. I couldn’t believe it was real.”
Jeanette Richardson, a diesel engine technician from Enfield in Halifax County, plans to use a portion of the $100,000 she won playing Diamond 7’s to pay off her auto loan. Richardson was at home on Friday night when she scratched off the $5 game’s top prize. “I kept thinking I had won a hundred dollars, then a thousand,” Richardson said. “When I saw that last number in there, I could not believe my eyes. I could barely sleep that night.”
Two Mega Millions players from Western North Carolina matched four white balls and the Mega Ball in Tuesday's drawing to win big prizes. Bruce Gibson of Mars Hill in Madison County won $10,000. He purchased his Quick Pick ticket at the Market Center Express on Stockton Road in Weaverville. William Eldreth of Candler in Buncombe County had a $2 Megaplier ticket and, because the Megaplier was four, won $40,000. He chose his own numbers on the winning ticket he purchased at the Sandhill Grocery on Sandhill Road in Asheville.
A dozen players cashed in big scratch-off wins this week:
- Gregory Franks of Wilmington: $50,000 (Instant Carolina Cash 5)
- Joni McMillan of Emerald Isle: $50,000 (Ruby Red 7’s)
- Sandra Blue of Aberdeen: $25,000 ($25,000 Cash Adventure)
- Woodrow Thames of Stedman: $24,000 (24 Karat Gold)
- Soe Nyein of Carrboro: $10,000 (Ruby Red 7’s)
- David Draughn of Mount Airy: $10,000 ($1,000 a Week for Life!)
- Mineshkumar Patel of Chapel Hill: $10,000 (Cash Spectacular)
- Wilbert Turner of Roper: $10,000 ($2,500 a Week for Life!)
- Joon Kang of Greensboro: $10,000 ($5,000 a Week for Life!)
- Traci Reynolds of Statesville: $10,000 (Holiday Millions)
- Larry Lewis of King: $10,000 (Maximum Green)
- Bettie Lou Hendren of Union Mills: $10,000 (Diamond 7’s)
Since Thursday, Jan. 10, players of N.C. Education Lottery games won more than $16.7 million in prizes with more than $13.1 million awarded to winners of instant scratch-off games. Players of North Carolina draw games Pick 3, Pick 4 and Cash 5 won more than $3 million in total prizes. In all, NCEL players won $16.7 million in prizes this week.
Thanks for playing and thanks for reading. Lottery offices and claim centers will be closed Monday in observance of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Best wishes to everyone over the long weekend, and see you next time here in the Lucke Zone.