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North Carolina Education Lottery (NCEL)
Raleigh, NC

-Charlotte Man Uses Fortune Cookie Numbers and Wins $346,115-
-Charlotte Woman Wins $100,000 “Mega Bucks” Prize-
RALEIGH - Robert and Jacqueline Assante of Apex are the North Carolina Education Lottery’s (NCEL’s) latest top prize winners on the “$130 Million Blockbuster” instant scratch-off game. The couple won $1 million, which will be paid out as an annuity of $50,000 per year for 20 years.

Robert Assante purchased the winning ticket last week at the Food Lion on North Main Street in Holly Springs. He says he was just killing time at the store while waiting to pick up his daughters when he decided to buy the ticket.

Assante scratched off the ticket while still in the store. When it revealed the $1 million prize, he says he thought perhaps he wasn’t seeing the matching winning numbers correctly since he had been to the eye doctor earlier in the day. What he saw was correct, though, and his ticket turned out to be the ninth $1 million ticket claimed.

The Assantes have already received their first check for $50,000 (less Federal and State withholdings) and say that they plan to “be wise with the money.” They added that they will put it away for their children and may take a family trip to Walt Disney World.

There is one $1 million top prize remaining on the “$130 Million Blockbuster” game. In addition, there are two remaining preliminary drawings for a chance to win $50,000 a year* ”for life” with a minimum of 20 years guaranteed. On March 10, Melany Pipkin of Whitakers and Stanley Bryant of Lillington were named finalists. They each received $1,500 and will participate in the final grand prize bonus drawing of $50,000 a year for life. The next preliminary drawing will be held May 19, with a drawing entry deadline of May 12. For more information, visit NCEL website.

Robert Plummer Sr. of Charlotte says he has been using numbers from a fortune cookie any time he played “Carolina Cash 5” but that he had considered using new numbers in the near future. It’s a good thing he didn’t because those five numbers from his fortune cookie were drawn during the March 11 “Carolina Cash 5” drawing, making him the $346,115 top prize winner!

Plummer bought his winning ticket at Easy Shop II on East W.T. Harris Boulevard in Charlotte. He says he will use some of his winnings for a family vacation.

In the March 13 “Carolina Cash 5” drawing, one ticket matched all five numbers drawn and is worth $73,064. This ticket was sold at Groceries & Such on North Main Street in Randleman. It has yet to be claimed.

Mary Watters of Charlotte says she thought she’d maybe won $10 when she scratched off two winning numbers on the “Mega Bucks” ticket she bought. Then she scratched off the prize and saw that there were a few more zeros—her ticket was worth $100,000! Watters bought her winning ticket at the PC Mart #1015 at The Plaza in Charlotte.

In the Saturday, March 14 Powerball drawing, four North Carolina tickets matched four out of five white balls plus the Powerball and are worth $10,000 each. These tickets were sold at Circle K on Selwyn Avenue in Charlotte, Fastop Market on South Main Street in Salisbury, Lowes Foods on North Miami Boulevard in Durham, and Food Lion on Grove Barton Road in Raleigh.

A total of 44,644 North Carolina Powerball players won prizes in the March 14 Powerball drawing, ranging from $10,000 down to $3 for a total payout in prizes worth $298,175. No one matched all five white balls plus the Powerball, so the jackpot for the Wednesday, March 18 Powerball drawing is an estimated $55 million.

The NCEL has paid out more than $6.8 million total in instant scratch-off ticket prizes since Thursday, March 12. Also since Thursday, “Carolina Cash 5” players have won more than $191,000 and “Carolina Pick 3” players have won more than $1.2 million in prizes.

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