RALEIGH – Shawn Elder, a forklift operator from Charlotte, has hauled in his share of a half million dollar Carolina Cash 5 jackpot. He had one of two tickets to match all five numbers in Monday night’s drawing. Tuesday afternoon, Elder collected his $277,466 half of the prize money.
Elder, a regular lottery player, had bought tickets for several daily drawings as the jackpot grew to $554,932. The Carolina Cash 5 jackpot rolls until one or more tickets match all five numbers. Elder purchased five sets of Quick Pick numbers, randomly selected by the computer, for the May 28 drawing at the Derita BP Amoco on Sugar Creek Road in Charlotte. Before going to work Tuesday morning, he checked the lottery’s website for the winning numbers.
“I was going through my regular routine, washed my face, and I said to myself, ‘Let me check to see what’s going on here,’“ Elder recalled. “And when I looked, it just jumped out at me ... everything lit up for a minute.”He looked again to make sure his numbers matched for the drawing the night before. He saw that two tickets matched all five numbers to split the jackpot. The other ticket, also worth $277,466 but still unclaimed, was sold at the Ready Mart on North Fayetteville Street in Asheboro. Each prize has an after-tax value of $188,677.
“This is one of the better days of my life,” Elder said. “I’m going to pay my mortgage off, pay bills, and take a vacation ... something simple, to inhale, take it all in, give thanks and be happy.”
Since the lottery began through June 30 of last year, Mecklenburg County education programs received more than $167.3 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.
To date, the N.C. Education Lottery has raised more than $2.35 billion for these initiatives statewide.