RALEIGH – A Wilson man used dates of family birthdays to choose his Powerball numbers and won $1 million. Shin Oh beat odds of more than one in 5.1 million to match all five white balls in the April 11 drawing. He had the winning ticket in his wallet for three weeks before finding out he had won.
Shin, an occasional lottery player, joins the ranks of 100 Powerball winners nationwide who have won $1 million prizes since new game rules took effect in January. Before, Shin’s ticket would have won $200,000. In the new game, Powerball tickets that match all five white balls win $1 million and, if the $1 Power Play feature is added, are worth $2 million.
Shin based the numbers on his birth year, as well as those of his parents and siblings. He expressed gratitude that his family members’ birthdays played a part in his good fortune.
“If I had only won $10,000 I’d be happy,” he said.
A retiree of the beauty supplies industry, Shin said his after-tax winnings of $680,000 would allow him to travel overseas. He purchased his winning ticket at the Handy Mart on Herring Avenue in Wilson.
Two $1 million-winning Powerball tickets sold in North Carolina are unclaimed. One, sold at a Wilco on Western Boulevard in Jacksonville, matched the numbers 15-23-43-45-56 in the Feb. 4 drawing. The other ticket, sold at the Eno Family Fare on Roxboro Road in Durham, matched the numbers 17-28-38-39-51 in the Feb. 8 drawing.
Through June 30 of last year, Wilson County education programs received more than $15.6 million in lottery funds. By law, those funds pay for teachers’ salaries in grades K-3, school construction, need-based college scholarships and financial aid, and prekindergarten programs for at-risk-four-year-olds.
To date, the N.C. Education Lottery has raised more than $2.35 billion for these initiatives statewide.