Of NC Lottery’s Top 15 Winner Stories of 2015, Which is your Favorite?

Published Tuesday, December 29, 2015 at 1:26 pm

lotteryPlayers collect prizes every day. And – if you’ve been reading the Lucke-Zone blog for any amount of time – you know that some of the stories behind those wins are anything but ordinary.

So as the calendar year comes to a close, join us for a look back at some of the best stories players shared with us.

(After you check out our Top 15, post in the comments which story is YOUR favorite and why!)

#15: Located near the Virginia border, the town of Conway is home to less than 1,000 people. One resident, Katina Joyner, won $750,000. “It’s got to be a dream,” said Joyner, who works as a corrections officer. “My plans and goals and realizations are to buy a house, pay off my car, and set aside for my kids’ education.”

#14: Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. So coming in at #14 is a winner’s story that came on the famous Feb. 14 holiday. Alex Walls of Laurinburg bought a lucky 50X The Cash ticket worth $1 million. He said that, outside of his lovely wife, the win is the best Valentine’s Day gift he’s ever received.

#13: Here’s another sweet $1 million story. Jack Piercy Jr., a retired locomotive engineer from Old Fort in McDowell County, won the seven-figure prize on a $1,000,000 Jackpot ticket and called his wife to share the good news. “Guess what I just hit on a scratch-off?” he asked her. “Baby, you’re a millionaire.”

#12: We enjoy hearing how winners plan to use their winnings. And we loved what Jackie Jeffreys Oliver of Raleigh had in mind for her $1 million. “I am going to open a community center where we tutor parents,” she said. “I figure if we help the parents, then they will be able to better-help their kids.”

#11: Another childcare professional celebrated her $150,000 win with her family. Carol Person of Jacksonville was at home when she scratched off a $500 Mayhem ticket. “I took my glasses off to make sure I was seeing things right,” said Person, who woke up her daughter to double-check the prize amount. “We were jumping up and down.”

#10: In at number 10 is the story of 10 folks who not only work together at the same store but also play Powerball together – and won $1 million. The employees at Carpet Discount Warehouse in Charlotte matched all five white balls in the June 3 drawing to win the prize.

#9: A New Bern man who caught a cooler full of catfish one morning reeled in the big one on his way home. Charles Benjamin bought a pair of $5 Trucks & Bucks tickets at the Duck Thru Food Store in Vanceboro and scratched off the $150,000 top prize. His first purchase? A new rod and reel.

#8: You never know when good fortune might come. Just ask Robert Gawlik, a business intelligence analyst from Durham.  He stopped for gas and bought lottery tickets on a whim and won $150,000. “I was in disbelief,” he said as he collected his prize money. “I’m just ecstatic about this win. Lady Luck finally showed her face.”

#7: B.A. Ray of Clemmons likes to scratch off the barcode and use a self-service scanner to see if his ticket is a winner before he finds out how much he has won. After discovering his $200 Million Blowout ticket had won a prize, he scratched off the prize amounts. When Clemmons saw $1 million, he shouted, “Oh, hello!”

#6: Another $200 Million Blowout winner, retired Army Sgt. Maj. George Brooks, planned to use his $1 million to buy a new home, help the homeless and donate to the ASPCA. “There are a lot of people and a lot of animals in this world that need our help,” said Brooks, who lives in Fayetteville. “This money is going to do just that.”

#5: Our number five story belongs to a $500 a Week for Life! winner from the town of Mountain Home in Henderson County. Joshua Moore, a landscaper, said he plans to use some of his winnings to send his daughter to college. He bought his winning ticket at the Energy Mart Store on Brevard Road in Hendersonville.

#4: James Lampi Jr., a contractor from Mint Hill, drove around for weeks with a winning $200 Million Blowout ticket before he realized how much he won: $4 million. “That ticket had lived in the console of my truck for almost a month,” he said. “When I scratched the rest of the ticket I couldn’t believe my eyes.”

#3: Allen Smith, an electronics manufacturer from Arden in Buncombe County, said his $468,673 Cash 5 jackpot would allow him to buy something he’s always wanted. “I like to buy a ticket when the jackpot gets big, and I’m so glad I did,” Smith said. “To know that I can finally buy a home of my own is a great feeling.”

#2: Our second-favorite lottery winner story comes courtesy of the biggest-ever jackpot winner in North Carolina, Marie Holmes of Shallotte in Brunswick County. The single mother of four played Powerball only occasionally, but made sure she had a ticket for the $564 million jackpot annuity for the Feb. 11 drawing. Holmes was one of three players nationwide who matched all six numbers, winning her $188 million.

#1: A Lexington couple made lottery history too when Dale Summey, a roofer, scratched off an Ultimate Millions ticket and won $10 million – the largest instant prize ever up for grabs on an instant game in our state. “It feels wonderful, but it is still hard to believe,” he said. “It’s wonderful, and it’s a blessing.”

Here’s to the year that was and the year that will be. Thanks for sharing part of your 2015 with us here in the Lucke-Zone – we’ll see you next year 🙂

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