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Powerball ticket turns into $2 million birthday gift for South Carolina woman

North Carolina – Margo Konopacke of Travelers Rest, S.C., treated herself to a Powerball ticket for her birthday and ended up with a $2 million present.

“It’s an incredible birthday gift,” Konopacke said. “I still can’t believe it. Everything feels surreal.”

The retired nurse’s good fortune happened when she stopped for groceries at the Publix on Greenville Highway in Hendersonville.

“I had just pulled out of the parking lot when I realized I didn’t buy a Powerball ticket,” Konopacke said. “I wasn’t going to go back but then thought, ‘My birthday’s coming up, so what the heck? This will be a birthday present to myself.’”

She went back inside and asked for a $3 Power Play Powerball ticket for Saturday’s drawing. She found out she won the next morning when her husband checked the ticket.

“When he told me I matched five numbers, I thought he was joking,” Konopacke said. “I slammed my hands down on the counter and said, ‘Let me see the ticket.’ Sure enough, I had five numbers.”

Konopacke claimed the prize Tuesday afternoon on her birthday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh. After required state and federal tax withholdings, she took home $1,415,001. Konopacke plans to do something special for her birthday, but said she’ll use most of the money for her and her husband’s retirement.

The ticket matched the numbers on the five white balls to win $1,000,000. Because she added the $1 Power Play feature, the prize doubled to $2 million when the multiplier was drawn. The ticket beat odds of one in 11.7 million.