Halifax Woman Claims $74.5 Million Powerball Prize
Posted February 16, 2007 10:23 a.m. EST
Updated March 29, 2007 2:26 p.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — 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.