REGIONAL: Mecklenburg County woman uses own numbers to win Cash 5 jackpot

Published 10:19 am Thursday, July 8, 2021

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Christene Costello of Charlotte couldn’t believe her luck when numbers she’s been playing for six years won her a $129,926 Cash 5 jackpot.

“I’m still in shock,” she said. “I’m still trying to feel like it’s real.”

Costello purchased her winning ticket through Online Play using her NC Lottery Official Mobile App for the June 21 drawing.

The next morning, while sipping her morning coffee, Costello checked her phone and found an email notifying her of her win. “I thought it was a fake email,” she recalled. “I really thought it was a scam. But then I verified it on the app!”

Costello claimed her prize Tuesday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh and took home $91,923 after required federal and state tax withholdings.

She plans to use some of the prize money for new cabinetry in her kitchen.

“I had a flood in my house,” she said. “So, I was trying to figure out how I was going to afford to do the upper cabinets. This came at a good time.”

Her son also recently purchased a home of his own and Costello plans to buy him a housewarming gift. “They’ve been struggling to figure out how to get a washer and dryer,” she said. “And I’m going to buy them one now. It all worked out.”

Carolina Cash 5 tickets are $1 and drawings are held every night. Thursday’s jackpot is $175,000. 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 $60.5 million raised by the lottery made a difference in Mecklenburg County in 2020, visit and click on the “Impact” section.