Report: Single mom is NC Powerball winner
Posted February 12, 2015
Updated February 13, 2015
Raleigh, N.C. — One of the three tickets that matched all six numbers in Wednesday's massive $564.1 million Powerball jackpot was purchased at a Shallote convenience store in Brunswick County, state lottery officials announced Thursday.
That ticket may belong to 26-year-old Marie Holmes. Holmes talked to WECT-TV late Thursday and showed a ticket that appeared to be the big winner. Her win has not been verified by lottery officials, but if it holds, Holmes and her four children are in for a lifestyle change.
"All the struggle I ever went through, it was all for them," Holmes said of her kids. "I just want them to understand that money does not change you."
The winning ticket was sold at Scotchman, at 359 Whiteville Road. The store is eligible for a $50,000 incentive award for selling the ticket, officials said.
"It's a lucky day to be in North Carolina," said Alice Garland, executive director of the North Carolina Education Lottery. "We look forward to meeting the jackpot winner, but the most important thing for the winner to do today is sign the back of the ticket and secure it in a safe place."
Garland also had some words of guidance for the ticketholder.
"This is a life-changing event. The lucky winner should take some time and get sound professional advice before coming in to get the big check," she said.
Two other winning tickets purchased in Puerto Rico and Texas also matched all of the numbers in the massive drawing.
Wednesday's jackpot was the third-largest in Powerball history and the fifth-largest U.S. lottery prize. The last time a Powerball jackpot climbed so high was May 2013 when a Florida ticket won a $590.5 million prize.
Should the winners select the lump sum option, each would get a one-third share of $381,138,450.16 before taxes. The other option is an annuity, under which the lottery would make payments 30 times over 29 years.
The largest payout in U.S. history was to three ticketholders in the Mega Millions game, the other national lottery drawing. That was a $656 million prize won in March 2012 by players in Kansas, Illinois and Maryland.
In 2012, state officials who run Powerball and Mega Millions changed ticket prices and lowered the odds of winning jackpots in hopes the moves would increase the number of huge prizes and draw more players. The new rules worked, causing jackpots to repeatedly climb to record levels. More than half of the top 10 U.S. jackpots have been reached in the past couple of years.
The winning numbers in Wednesday's drawing were: 11, 13, 25, 39, 54 and the Powerball 19.
Sue Dooley, senior drawing manager and production coordinator for the Multi-State Lottery Association, said the Puerto Rico ticket was the first Powerball jackpot winner ever sold outside the continental United States.
The Texas Lottery posted on Twitter early Thursday that one of the winning tickets was sold at Appletree Food Mart in Princeton, Texas.
Several other winning tickets were purchased across the state, although they weren't perfect. Three tickets – purchased in Gaston, Henderson and Pitt counties – matched four white balls and the Powerball to win $30,000 each.
Five more tickets matched four white balls and the Powerball to win $10,000. They were not power played, and they were purchased in Charlotte, Dunn, Waxhaw, Garner and Asheville.