Charlotte nurse plays Cash 5 for the first time, wins $216,614 jackpot

North Carolina

Plans to use money to help serve her community during the pandemic

RALEIGH – Shameka Waller of Charlotte has spent the past year and a half caring for patients during the coronavirus pandemic. Now, with a lottery win to the tune of a $216,614 Cash 5 jackpot, she says she can do even more to help her community.

“This win, it’s just great for so many reasons,” said Waller, a clinical advising nurse, and mother of two. “I know what I want to do – I want to continue to serve people in need. I want to start a service that helps elderly, bed-bound patients get access to testing and treatment for COVID-19.”

Waller’s story of good luck began Monday night when she decided to try something new.

While getting ready for bed, Waller visited the lottery’s website, signed up for Online Play, and bought her first Cash 5 ticket.

“I don’t play the lottery that often,” said, Waller. “But I thought you can’t win if you don’t play.”

Waller decided to select her own five numbers based upon the birthdates of her family – her son, her daughter, and herself. Little did she know, that decision to play Cash 5 for the first time and pick those exact numbers that held such special meaning to her – 1-2-4-11-16 – would bring her a jackpot that same night.

That next day when Waller logged into her Online Play account and saw all the zeros, she said it felt “unreal” and immediately started sharing the good news with her family. 

One of the family members Waller told was her daughter.

“I told her, ‘Your mom might have won the lottery,’” said Waller recalling the moment. “She asked me, ‘Did you really win it?’ And I told her, ‘I think we did, buddy.’”

Waller did win and claimed her prize Wednesday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh.  After required tax withholdings, she took home $154,505. Waller says she will continue to “be there for patients and make sure they have the highest quality of life” but also plans to use the money to take a vacation with her family once it is safe.

“Just being a mom, this will be super helpful,” said Waller.

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