Monday, May 20, 2013 —
RALEIGH – James Wright, a mortgage underwriter from Charlotte, plans to use the $1 million he won playing Powerball on May 15 to save for retirement.
Though he only plays the lottery a couple of times a year, the possibility of winning a big jackpot led Wright to purchase 10 Powerball tickets from the Oakhill Deli and Grill on Oakdale Road last Wednesday. He matched all five white balls but not the red Powerball to win the $1 million prize.
“I didn’t find out I’d won until Friday,” Wright said. “I was at work checking my ticket and everyone around me kept saying I had won a million dollars. I just started shaking. I was in complete disbelief and didn’t know what to think.”
After taxes, Wright received a check for $680,000. He said he plans to use another portion of his winnings to help his family, make improvements to his home and buy a car.
“I feel like the heat is lifted off of me now,” Wright said. “This is a huge relief.”
Wright purchased one of four tickets that won a $1 million prize during the latest Powerball run. One $1 million ticket from the May 11 drawing has yet to be claimed. The ticket was sold the Ingles Market on Leicester Highway in Asheville.
The N.C. Education Lottery recorded strong Powerball sales as players tried their chances at winning what would become the largest jackpot in the game’s history. The seven-week run boosted the lottery’s return this year for the education programs it serves.
Between the April 3 drawing when the jackpot was $40 million and Saturday’s $590.5 million jackpot, Powerball sales exceeded $38 million in the state. Initial estimates are that the sales will generate $14.6 million for education.
During that time, more than 556,000 tickets won prizes totaling more than $8 million, including four $40,000 prizes and 17 $10,000 prizes. Retailers across the state earned more than $2.6 million in commissions from Powerball sales.
Since the lottery began through June 30, 2012, Mecklenburg County education programs received more than $210.9 million in lottery funds. By law, those funds pay for teachers’ salaries in grades K-3, school construction, prekindergarten programs for at-risk four-year-olds, and college scholarships and financial aid based on need.
To date, the N.C. Education Lottery has raised more than $2.8 billion for these initiatives statewide.