Many things can give a holiday gift meaning. It might be who gives the gift or the surprise of receiving one. For three North Carolina Education Lottery winners, it was definitely a Christmas to remember.
Let's start with Eddie Hoover of Monroe. His son, Rob, gives him some lottery tickets for Christmas every year. This year, the tradition led to a $100,000 win in the Carolina Black game that means Hoover and his family can attend the son’s wedding in the Bahamas next fall. “Couldn’t happen to a better person,” said Rob Hoover, who accompanied his Dad to lottery headquarters Monday to claim the prize. “Best Dad in the world. He’s done everything for us. Time to pay him back.”
Maria Juana Tolentino, a resident of Candor in Montgomery County, thought she was finished with her family’s Christmas on Wednesday. Little did she know that a late gift from her brother, a $5 Mega Bucks lottery ticket, would make her $100,000 richer. “At first I thought it was a hundred dollars,” Tolentino said. “We were happy to win that. Then I kept scratching and saw it was much, much bigger. I couldn’t believe it.”
David Coman, a retired paper mill worker from Canton in Haywood County, likes to buy lottery tickets from the Southside store on Pisgah Drive in his hometown. He routinely asks the clerk to pick his tickets for him for good luck. His routine paid off on Christmas Eve when the clerk chose for him a holiday-themed Greetings of Gold ticket that later turned out to be worth $100,000. Coman was sitting at home when he scratched off the $5 game’s top prize. “I had to read it a few times,” Coman said. “It still hasn’t soaked in yet, but it feels good.”
A Huntersville woman won $1 million in the Powerball drawing held the day after Christmas. Ann LaFave, a retired U.S. postmaster from New York who now lives in Huntersville, said she discovered her win while scanning the Powerball numbers printed in her newspaper, The Charlotte Observer. “I said, ‘Oh, I have some numbers for a change,” LaFave recalled Monday as she collected her prize. “My birthday numbers were there. I saw the fourth number. Then I went to the kitchen to make sure my Powerball ticket was still good, came back and saw I had five numbers. And I started yelling and screaming.”
Other big winners who won or claimed this week include:
- John Gibbs of Rocky Mount, who won $77,018 in the Dec. 6 Cash 5 drawing
- Teressa hood of Raleigh, who won $73,660 in the Oct. 9 Cash 5 drawing
- Linda Rich of Smithfield, who won $50,000 playing Junior Big Ol’ Bucks
- Albert Owens of La Grange, who won $40,000 in the Dec. 29 Powerball drawing
- Celeste Tucker of Colfax, who won $40,000 in the Nov. 24 Powerball drawing
- Larry Parks of Goldsboro, who won a $38,143 share of the Jan. 1 Cash 5 drawing
- A duo from Kill Devil Hills, who won $27,000 playing Triple Winning 7’s
- Stephen Grant of Linden, who won $10,000 in the Dec. 12 Powerball drawing
- Franklin Smith of Roseboro, who $20,000 playing Fire ‘N Dice
- Mark Norman of Lewisville, who won $10,000 playing $2,500 a Week for Life!
- Richard Oliver of Kenly, who won $10,000 playing $5,000 a Week for Life!
- Alton Smith of Greenville, who won $10,000 playing 10X the Payout
- Joseph Vargo of Pittsboro, who won $10,000 playing $200,000 a Year for Life
- Michael Wyatt of Mocksville, who won $10,000 playing Jumbo Bucks
We'd like to congratulate all the winners, and wish all our players the best of luck in the New Year. Have a great weekend and see you next time here in the Lucke Zone.