RALEIGH – A winning streak for Lee Tankard of Bath began the night his Tar Heels beat Duke in basketball and ended the next when he won half of a $536,264 Cash 5 jackpot.
“I went to buy the ticket earlier than I usually do because Carolina was playing at 6,” Tankard recalled. “I wanted to get home and watch that.”
He picked his own numbers when he went to the Bath General Store & Market on East Carteret Street in Bath to buy his ticket for the Feb. 7 drawing.
“It was just pure luck,” he said. “I couldn’t believe it. I was pretty much in shock! …Still am.”
Tankard claimed his prize Wednesday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh. After required federal and state tax withholdings, he took home $189,704.
“I’m very happy and pleased that I finally hit a jackpot!” he said. “I’ve got a family I want to take care of. That’s why I play. Not for me but for the ones I love.”
Tankard said he’s never been to Disney World, “so I might try to go down there.”
No one has claimed the second half of the Feb. 7 jackpot. The lucky ticket was sold at the Publix on North Croatan Highway in Kill Devil Hills.
Carolina Cash 5 tickets are $1 and drawings are held every night. Thursday’s jackpot is $100,000.
The odds of winning a Cash 5 jackpot are 1 in 962,598.
Cash 5 is one of four lottery games in North Carolina where players have the option of buying their tickets through Online Play either through the lottery’s website or with the NC Lottery Official Mobile App.
Ticket sales from draw games like Cash 5 make it possible for the lottery to raise more than $725 million per year for education. For details on how $2.7 million raised by the lottery made a difference in Beaufort County in 2020, visit www.nclottery.com and click on the “Impact” section.