WILMINGTON, N.C. — Luck seems to run in the family for Wilmington resident Jose Cerro Ordonez after he won a $726,439 Cash 5 jackpot on August 6.
“My grandfather won a lottery jackpot twice while living in South America,” he said.
Ordonez said his mother has long believed that he inherited the lucky gene from his grandfather.
“She used to always tell me that I have my grandfather’s luck too,” Ordonez said.
He bought his $1 Quick Pick ticket for Sunday’s drawing using Online Play. Ordonez said he kept using the Quick Pick random number generator on the lottery website until he found numbers he wanted to use.
“I eventually stopped at some numbers that I liked because they matched some ages and birthday numbers in my family,” he said. “And those are the numbers I won on.”
Ordonez said he couldn’t believe it when he saw that he hit the jackpot.
“I was like, ‘Oh my God, I won,’” he recalled. “It’s really crazy.”
He arrived at lottery headquarters Tuesday to collect his prize and, after required state and federal tax withholdings, took home $517,588.
Ordonez plans to pay off his mortgage, set some money aside for his daughter, and help out his family.
Cash 5 is one of six lottery games in North Carolina where players have the option of buying their tickets through a retail location or with Online Play. The odds of winning a Cash 5 jackpot are 1 in 962,598. Tuesday’s jackpot is $100,000.
Ticket sales from draw games such as Cash 5 make it possible for the lottery to raise $2.5 million a day on average for education. For details on how $11.5 million raised by the lottery made a difference in New Hanover County last year, visit www.nclottery.com and click on the “Impact” section.