RALEIGH – Two players from Eastern North Carolina split a $234,876 jackpot in the April 3 drawing of Carolina Cash 5. Each had a ticket that matched all five numbers to win $117,438 apiece.

One of those winners is Carlos James, a bricklayer from Maysville in Jones County. He purchased his winning ticket at the Piggly Wiggly on Main Street in Maysville.

“It’s still unbelievable,” James said as he collected his winnings at lottery headquarters with his fiancée, Janet Fordham. She discovered their good luck when, on the night of the drawing, she saw the winning numbers on TV.

“I said ‘Carlos, Wake up. Every number hit!’“ Fordham said. She called the lottery’s player hotline and found out that two tickets split the jackpot. The couple plans to use their after-tax winnings of $79,858 to pay for their wedding.

“It’s a feeling you will never forget, I can tell you that,” Fordham added.

The second Cash 5 winner was Kristen Tew of Dunn, a recent college graduate. Tew, a biology major, said she was “shocked” to discover her good luck the morning after the drawing.

Tew bought her ticket at the 61 Truck Stop on Wade Stedman Road in Wade the night of the drawing. She said she got a Quick Pick ticket with the lucky numbers because it was “easy and fast.”

Asked what she planned to do with her winnings, she replied, “Save for the future.” She received $79,858 after taxes were withheld.

By law, lottery funds pay for teachers’ salaries in grades K-3, school construction, need-based college scholarships, and prekindergarten programs for at-risk four-year-olds. To date, the N.C. Education Lottery has raised more than $2.2 billion for these initiatives statewide.