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Halifax Woman Claims $74.5 Million Powerball Prize

Posted February 16, 2007
Updated March 29, 2007

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— A single mother from Halifax County beamed Friday as she claimed the first Powerball jackpot ever won in North Carolina.

Jackie Alston, 38, a former correctional officer, purchased the $74.5 million ticket at Shell Travel World in Halifax on Nov. 29. The winning numbers were 2, 8, 9, 12 and 19, and the Powerball was 25.

"I may have actually bought only 10 tickets there since I've been playing, and I only started playing, like, this year, so you know I haven't bought a lot of tickets," she said.

Alston said she picked the numbers based on the ages of children in her family. She called her brother over to her house to confirm her ticket was the winner after the numbers were announced, she said.

"It was just overwhelming, and I couldn't believe it myself," she said Friday. "He was like, 'Aw, you didn't win.' It took him a while, but he checked the numbers. Then he was like, 'Yeah, we did. We won. We won.'"

The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot were 1 in 146 million.

Alston has quit her job as a correctional officer in Brunswick, Va., where she has worked for 15 years.

"(My life) probably will change, but right now, I don't know. But I'm sure it's going to change beyond my belief," she said.

The first changes involved putting her family up for the night at the Crabtree Marriott in Raleigh before taking a limousine to the North Carolina Education Lottery office to claim her prize. They later rode the limo back to Halifax.

Alston said she waited more than two months to claim North Carolina's first Powerball jackpot so she could assemble a team of financial advisers. She decided to take her prize as a lump-sum payment of $24.5 million after taxes.

"I have my brother Algernon, my media specialist Doris McMillan, my consultant Victor Holt and my financial advisor Will Finnerty," she said. 

114 Comments

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  • kittnkboodle Feb 17, 2007

    This story gave me chills! I couldn't be happier for this woman! That is the grace of God! I think this is the first time that I have heard of someone winning the lottery that deserved it. Although, I wouldn't have quit my job of 15 years for 24.5 million! May God continue to bless you and your family, lady!

  • Its Just What I Do Feb 17, 2007

    Kudos to you Southern GAl- BEST idea, BEST comment yet!

  • jetset Feb 17, 2007

    I am very glad for her. I wish her well. I know she is very excited.

  • Fence Straddler Feb 17, 2007

    Enjoy the gift from GOD!
    May GOD Bless You and Your Family!

  • joyceknox707 Feb 17, 2007

    THAT WAS A VERY GOOD DAY FOR YOU AND YOUR KIDS.
    I HOPE AND PRAY THAT IT WILL HAPPEN TO ME AND MY FAMILY
    VERY SOON.
    PLEASE DON'T LET IT GO TO YOUR HEAD!!!

  • Made In USA Feb 16, 2007

    birth of the american dream!

  • Southern Gal Feb 16, 2007

    She's so cute! I hope her advisors have counseled her to be generous to the church and to the poor in Halifax Co. God has intrusted her with much. Just imagine the great possiblities that she has the ability to do!

  • no screen name Feb 16, 2007

    can't wait for this years family reunion

  • duke1man2002 Feb 16, 2007

    U GO GIRL!!!!! HAVE FUN WITH IT!!!!!!!!!!

  • birdlady Feb 16, 2007

    Congratulations to her. I'm so happy this lady won and her life will change for the better. Good for you. Maybe my time will get here one day!

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