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NC Education Lottery: Time Was on Woman's Side in $2 Million Powerball Win

North Carolina Education Lottery Powerball Winner Elizabeth Johnson

North Carolina – Elizabeth Johnson of Lucama bought her Powerball ticket too late for last Wednesday’s drawing, but in plenty of time to win $2 million in Saturday’s.

The lucky twist of fate started last Wednesday when, at the end of a busy day, she rushed to get her numbers into that night’s Powerball drawing.

Or at least, she thought she had. As fate would have it, she actually missed the 9:57 p.m. cutoff to buy a ticket using Online Play by one minute. Her bad luck turned into good luck on Saturday because her Quick Pick ticket was good for that drawing.

“It was definitely a shock!” said Johnson. “When I got the message saying that I had won I thought, ‘Well, I didn’t even play tonight.’”

Her lucky $3 Power Play ticket matched the numbers on all five white balls to win $1 million in Saturday’s drawing. Johnson’s prize doubled to $2 million when the 2X multiplier was drawn. The odds of matching all five white balls are 1 in 11.6 million.

Johnson, who works as an interpreter, claimed her prize Thursday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh and took home $1,415,001 after required federal and state tax withholdings. She says she’ll buy a house and go on vacation with her big win.

“The kids want to go to Disneyland,” said Johnson. “We’ve never been and now we’ll get to.”

The Powerball jackpot stands at $253 million as an annuity or $172.7 million cash for Saturday’s drawing. The odds of winning a Powerball jackpot are 1 in 292 million.

Players can buy $2 Powerball tickets through Online Play on the lottery’s website, like Johnson did, with the NC Lottery Official Mobile App, or at any lottery retail location.

Ticket sales from draw games like Powerball make it possible for the lottery to raise more than $725 million per year for education. A $15 million grant, using money raised by lottery, will help Wilson County expand the Wilson County Schools Early College of Applied Technology Academy. The expansion will involve moving the academy’s high school location from shared space in an existing high school to a new facility on the Wilson Community College campus.