**RALEIGH –**Special numbers made up of birthdays and ages proved the right combination that unlocked a $2 million Powerball win for Shanika Miller of Durham.
“I keep my same numbers,” said Miller. “I never switch them up.”
Using special birthday combinations has proved successful for Miller in the past. In 2017, she won $50,000 playing Powerball using her children’s birthdays as numbers.
She bought her lucky ticket using Online Play through the lottery’s website. “When I don’t have a chance to make it to the store, I play online,” Miller said. “It’s more convenient and I don’t have to leave the house.”
Because she had an Online Play account, she was also notified of her big win on her phone. “I woke up in the morning around 6 and looked, and I was crying,” recalled Miller. “I said, ‘No this can’t be real, I kept checking it and checking it and checking it.’”
Miller’s $3 Power Play ticket matched numbers on all five of the white balls to win $2 million in the April 4 drawing and beat odds of 1 in 11.6 million. After state and federal tax withholdings, she took home $1,415,001.
Miller said her kids are thrilled for her. When she first told them she won, “They said, ‘Mom, you deserve it. You do so much for everybody.’”
With her prize money, she said she first plans to buy her son a car. After that, she said, “I’m gonna buy my family a house and pay all my bills off.”
The jackpot for Wednesday’s Powerball drawing is an estimated $77 million or $61.9 million cash.
Online Play allows lottery players to purchase tickets online for four draw games, Carolina Cash 5, Lucky For Life, Mega Millions, and Powerball.
Ticket sales from draw games like Powerball make it possible for the lottery to raise more than $700 million a year for education. For details on how $13.1 million raised by the lottery made a difference in Durham County last year, visit www.nclottery.com and click on the “Impact” section.