Local News

Dozens Claim Big Winnings in Raffle Drawing

Posted July 5, 2007 3:02 p.m. EDT
Updated July 5, 2007 10:58 p.m. EDT

— The N.C. Education Lottery headquarters in Raleigh buzzed Thursday with lottery winners claiming their prizes from the Sizzlin' Millionaire raffle drawing.

Women from Siler City and Mebane took home two of the four $1 million prizes. The other two $1 million-winning tickets were sold in Charlotte and Reidsville.

Jenna Davis of Siler City and her husband, Rob Davis, cashed in a $1 million-winning ticket.

“I had forgotten that I had the ticket,” Davis said in a statement. She said she asked Rob to buy the ticket and thought that he would play Powerball.

Davis said she was surprised to find herself  a winner when she checked her ticket number against those posted on WRAL.com.

“That can’t be right. I've never won anything,” she said she told herself.

Allison Welch of Mebane was also among the first to claim their $1 million prizes.

The Education Lottery's first raffle contest also gave out five $100,000 prizes and 500 $1,000 awards. Lottery outlets sold 500,000 $20 raffle tickets in recent weeks for the drawing, which was held Wednesday.

Only one $100,000 winner, Brian Lantzy of Lexington, has come forward.

Many of the $1,000 winners cashing in their tickets at the Education Lottery headquarters said their lucky wins made the tickets money well spent.

Johnathan Minshew said he didn't find out about his winnings until he got to work this morning.

"I just punched it (his ticket number) in on the the computer, and it came up. And I did it again, and it came up. Then I called my wife, and said, 'Check the ticket,' because I left it at home. She said, 'Yeah, we won,' so that was great," Minshew said.

Persistence paid off for Alisa Clemons, who bought two tickets from a Knightdale convenience store.

"Every day, every day, I play every day," Clemons said.

Clemons said her $1,000 winnings will come in handy, because she is not working right now.

Connie Walker, who celebrated her birthday on the day of drawing, said the $1,000 prize was a welcome gift.
"I had a car accident. My cat is sick. I have a medical problem that I have to take care of. I broke up with my boyfriend, so I was just kind of in a bad run. Things are looking better, I think," Walker said.

The $1,000 winners take home $680 after taxes.

The Sizzlin' Millionaire raffle generated around $10 million in sales Lottery spokesperson Pam Walker said a little over $3 million will go to fund education.

Lottery officials said they are considering holding another raffle this year, based on the success of this one.