A North Carolina man woke up to a big surprise, after purchasing NC Education Lottery tickets “on a whim” online.
Tony Rawls and Jolene Morris Hit the Jackpot After Buying Tickets Online
Tony Rawls is a real estate broker from Colerain, a town in Bertie County that’s roughly 130 miles northeast of Raleigh, North Carolina’s state capital.
Rawls and his wife, Jolene Morris, are big fans of playing Carolina Cash 5. They started using Online Play for its convenience.
“I like the account part and I like being notified,” Rawls said of Online Play. “I don’t have to check my ticket.”
Rawls certainly got his notification.
The real estate broker decided to purchase Cash 5 tickets “on a whim” from his home office on April 3rd. The tickets were for that evening’s drawing. Eight hours later, he woke up in the middle of the night to an email congratulating him for winning the $375,990 jackpot.
“Of course, it’s 4 o’clock in the morning and you’re not wide awake,” Rawls said. “And I woke up my wife and I said, ‘Come here and look and see if you’re seeing the same thing I’m seeing.'”
It was no mistake. Rawls recalled, “It said we hit the jackpot!”
NC Education Lottery Offers Online Play for Four Different Draw Games
Although North Carolina residents are currently under a statewide Stay at Home order, making Online Play even more convenient, the online games have been around since before the coronavirus pandemic. The NC Education Lottery Online Play allows players to purchase tickets online for four different draw games: Carolina Cash 5, Lucky for Life, Mega Millions, and Powerball.
However, the lottery has made adjustments for claiming prizes as the Stay at Home order remains in effect.
Lottery winners with prizes of $100,000 more more are no longer required to claim their winnings in person. Rawls was given the choice of getting his prize money via electronic funds transfer or by certified check.
After federal and state tax withholdings, Rawls and his wife came out $266,027 richer. These North Carolina residents received their prize on Friday.
What are they going to do with their money? Rawls told lottery officials that the couple plans to invest their winnings.
“It’s life-altering. It puts a different perspective on our retirement plan,” he said. “It just makes it a little bit better.”
However, Rawls and his wife say they’re not done playing the lottery. “We’re going to continue to play,” he told officials. “I like the lottery and I like the Cash 5.”