REGIONAL: Gold Hill woman cried after ‘life changing’ $723,755 jackpot win

Cynthia Neely of Gold Hill became emotional when her $10 Fast Play purchase turned into a $723,755 jackpot.

“I think I cried all the way home,” she said.

Neely bought her lucky Jackpot 7’s ticket July 11 from the Kangaroo Express on East Main Street in Rockwell. When she checked her tickets, she initially thought someone else won the jackpot instead of her.

“When I got in the truck and saw my first ticket said the jackpot was back to $20,000, I thought, ‘Oh darn, somebody already won the jackpot,’” Neely recalled.

When Neely took a closer look at her tickets, she realized she won the $723,755 jackpot.

“I had to convince myself that I had the winning ticket,” she laughed. “It is a life-changing amount of money.”

At the time of her purchase, the jackpot stood at $723,755. Since she bought a $10 ticket, Neely received 100% of the progressive jackpot. She arrived Friday to collect her prize and, after required state and federal tax withholdings, took home $515,678.

“I’m going to try to talk my husband into retiring soon,” she said.

Neely said she plans to give some money to her church, invest, and possibly take a trip with her husband.

Fast Play features an instantly growing jackpot that increases with every ticket sold until it is won. As of Monday morning, the Fast Play jackpot stands at $154,000 and counting.

Ticket sales from games like Fast Play make it possible for the lottery to raise $2.5 million a day on average for education. For details on how $7.5 million raised by the lottery made a difference in Rowan County last year, visit www.nclottery.com and click on the “Impact” section.