For more than two weeks, Wade Haskett of Waynesville carried around in his wallet a lottery ticket worth $118,180. When he realized his good fortune on Sunday, he bought a lockbox to keep the ticket safe.
Haskett, a part-time detention officer for the Haywood County Sheriff’s Department, said he regularly plays Carolina Cash 5 as well as Powerball and Mega Millions, but had not checked his ticket from the Nov. 6 Cash 5 drawing until Sunday. Haskett said the check came after his wife told him that the Asheville TV station, WLOS, reported someone bought a winning ticket at Mountain Energy on South Main Street in Waynesville, but had not claimed the prize.
“I didn’t really expect to win anything,” said Haskett. “I figured it was going to be like it usually was, someone else winning it.”
But this time it was Haskett and a second winner from Montgomery County who beat odds of 1 in 575,000 to split the $236,360 jackpot. Haskett’s half was $118,180. After taxes were withheld he received $80,364.
Haskett said he and his wife plan to use their winnings for home improvements, including a new roof and new hardwood floors, to help their adult children, and for a possible trip to St. Petersburg, Fla. to visit a son. “I know it is not a big amount, but it is more than I had,” Haskett said. “I am just thankful I won it. It came at a good time.”
The other winner, Larry Clegg of Biscoe, claimed his half of the jackpot on Nov. 8, two days after the drawing.
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, 2012, Haywood County education programs received more than $11.2 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.
A Cash 5 promotion that started Sept. 9 offers players five extra chances to win as much as $50,000. In each Cash 5 Bonus Bucks drawings five prizes will be awarded: One $50,000 grand prize, one $5,000 prize, and three $1,000 prizes. The first Bonus Bucks drawing was held on Nov. 14 and the second is scheduled for Jan. 16. More details on the promotion are available on the lottery’s official website.