RALEIGH – Beverly Harris of Durham does just about everything for her 79-year-old dad, Hezekiah Smith, including buying Carolina Cash 5 tickets once a week at the Food Lion in Woodcroft Shopping Center.
It was there at her dad’s favorite store where, on the day before Father’s Day, Harris bought one of the tickets that turned out to be worth $235,759. The Quick Pick ticket – meaning the numbers were chosen at random by the computer – matched all five numbers in the June 20 Cash 5 drawing.
Not knowing the ticket hit the jackpot, Harris returned to the Food Lion a week later and had the tickets checked. When the winning ticket was scanned, both Harris and the clerk were caught off guard as the terminal played music and displayed a message to claim at the lottery. Harris returned from the store to share the good news.
“Daddy, I think we won,” she recalled saying. “He just told me to sign it.”
Harris looked up the date of the drawing on the lottery’s website to find out how much it was worth. It wasn’t until Monday, when she and her husband Wesley arrived at lottery headquarters, that they were sure of the prize amount.
Harris said that her dad is retired from a 30-year career in waste management, and has ailing health, which is why she claimed the prize on behalf of the family. Harris, the director of healthcare analytics for the North Carolina State Health Plan, said that the good luck will enable the family to provide long-term care for her father.
“This is for him and what he wants to do,” Harris said. After state and federal taxes were withheld, the winnings totaled $160,317.
Since the lottery began through June 30, 2011, Durham County education programs received more than $40.1 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.