As cooler temperatures settled in across our great state this week, lucky lottery players got that warm and fuzzy feeling that comes with beating the odds.
Of the more than $18.3 million in total prizes won, $14.6 million was awarded to instant scratch-off winners. The biggest prize won – $1 million – belongs to La’Saun McNair of Greensboro. Just five days after being honorably discharged from the Air Force, he bought a $120 Million Cash ticket.
“I had stopped in to play Pick 3 when I thought I’d try my luck,” McNair said as he collected his winnings. “I saw that I had matched the number 10 and it said I had won a million dollars. I sat there looking at the ticket and it just didn’t register. Then I went straight home to tell my mom and my heart started beating so fast, I couldn’t believe it. It was one of the best days of my life.”
Another $120 Million Cash winner this week, Jim Shimburski of Fort Mill, S.C., bought his winning ticket at the Ballantyne Amoco in Charlotte.
“I knew the $120 million game had just come out,” Shimburski recalled. “I said, ‘Let’s give this a shot and see what happens.’” On what turned out to be his lucky ticket – and his lucky day – Shimburski scratched off a “coin” symbol. He learned from the game instructions that meant he had won a prize instantly. But he didn’t know how much.
“You think, ‘Maybe I’ll win $20 or $100,’” Shimburski said. That’s when he scratched and revealed the prize amount: $100,000. “It was just that surreal feeling,” he said. “It was pretty wild.”
As of Friday afternoon, three $3 million top prizes, five $1 million prizes and five $100,000 prizes remain to be claimed in the $120 Million Cash game.
A Beaufort County woman who won $100,000 playing Mega Bucks says she will use her prize money to take a trip to Florida and buy a new car for her daughter.
“I haven’t had a vacation in a long time,” said Hilda Martinez of Washington. “I was planning on taking my kids to Florida later this year for a couple of days, but now we’re going to make it a longer trip. And my oldest has been needing a new car, so this comes at a great time. This feels really good.”
The week’s fourth major lottery win belongs to Douglas Humphries, a mechanic from Timberland in Person County. He has played the same set of random numbers in the Carolina Cash 5 game for four years. On Saturday night, they finally hit and he won the $164,233 jackpot. He purchased his lucky ticket at the Mayo Marina Mart on Virgilina Road in Roxboro.
In all, draw game players won more than $3.7 million in prizes this week.
Until next time, we hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. See you soon here in the Lucke-Zone.