RALEIGH, N.C. – After nearly tossing her $5 scratch-off ticket in the trash, Jacqueline Leigh of Roper decided to check her ticket one more time and found a $200,000 prize waiting for her.
“I really was about to throw it away,” she said. “But I went back and looked at it again and that’s when I discovered it.”
Leigh, 60, bought her lucky Hot 5’s ticket from Roper Food Mart on N.C. 32 in Roper.
“I was so excited,” she said. “I think I shouted.”
Leigh said she wanted to tell her family the good news right away.
“I told my daughter and she said, ‘Mom are you for real,’” Leigh laughed.
Leigh stopped by lottery headquarters Wednesday to claim her prize and, after required state and federal tax withholdings, took home $142,021.
“I’ve never won anything like this before,” Leigh said. “It’s a blessing.”
She said she will use her winnings to pay off her car and pay some bills. The Hot 5’s game debuted in July with five top prizes of $200,000. Three $200,000 prizes remain to be claimed.
Ticket sales from scratch-off games make it possible for the lottery to raise more than $2.5 million a day for education. The state provided $40 million in grants, using money raised by the lottery, to help Washington County with school construction. For details on other ways Washington County benefits from lottery funds, visit www.nclottery.com and click on the “Impact” section.