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Avery County Woman Wins $1M on Powerball Ticket, ‘Feels Surreal To Win Something Like This’

Jan. 19, 2015. The search is over for a player who won $1 million on a Powerball ticket sold in Spruce Pine.

Rachel Hoilman of Newland matched all five white balls but not the red Powerball in the Jan. 3 drawing to win the big prize. She purchased the $2 Quick Pick ticket, which beat odds of one in 5,153,633, at the Murphy USA on Halltown Road in Spruce Pine.

“It feels surreal to win something like this,” Hoilman said. “It’s a blessing. This money will help us and it will help others.”

A second $1 million Powerball ticket purchased in North Carolina remains unclaimed. The ticket, from the Christmas Eve drawing, was sold at the Harris Teeter on South Tryon Street in Charlotte.

Saturday’s Powerball jackpot has climbed to an estimated $194 million annuity, worth $129.3 million cash. The jackpot was last won on Nov. 29. North Carolina has had three Powerball jackpot winners who won between $74.5 million and $141.4 million.

Ticket sales made it possible for the lottery to raise more than half a billion for the state last year. For details on how more than $5.9 million in lottery funds have made a difference for specific education programs in Avery County, click on the “Where the Money Goes” tab on the lottery’s website.

North Carolina Education Lottery net proceeds will be used this year to help pay salaries of teachers and teacher assistants, for pre-kindergarten programs for at-risk four-year-olds, school construction and repair, and need-based college scholarships and financial aid.