RALEIGH – Tiffany Lother of Rutherfordton is living proof that just one ticket can bring remarkable luck. On Saturday night, she played Carolina Cash 5 for the first time – and beat odds of 1 in 575,757 to win the $353,583 jackpot.

Her good fortune traces to a stop for gas at the Circle Food Store on South Main Street in Rutherfordton. That’s where Lother’s mother suggested they each buy a Quick Pick ticket for the Carolina Cash 5 drawing to be held that night. Since neither had played the game before, they forgot about their tickets until Wednesday afternoon.

“My mom said ‘I won on my ticket – you should check yours too,’” Lother recalled. “So I looked it up online and I won all of it. I screamed and ran downstairs.”

Lother said she planned to use a portion of her winnings, which totaled $240,436 after taxes, to pay for her education. She started her first year of college this fall.

“I wanted to cry, I’ve been really blessed,” Lother said. “I wanted to go to law school – this is a way I can pay for it without burdening my parents.”

Ticket sales for games such as Carolina Cash 5 have enabled the lottery to raise more than $2.58 billion for education initiatives statewide. Since the lottery began through June 30 of this year, Rutherford County education programs received more than $16.3 million in lottery funds. By law, those funds pay for teachers’ salaries in grades K-3, school construction, prekindergarten programs for at-risk four-year-olds, and need-based college scholarships and financial aid.