RALEIGH – A group of 20 lottery players, all who work manufacturing jobs at RF Micro Devices in Greensboro, matched all five white balls in the Aug. 4 Powerball drawing, winning them a $1 million prize. The group, who call themselves “The Lotto Twenty,” each received a prize of $50,000.
The ticket was purchased at the Garrett Mini Mart on East Main Street in Stoneville. Winners included Myra Broom, Corlis Holmes, Anita Hood, Cynthia Johnson, Maria Lowe, Wanda Morgan,Shirley Pettiford and Mahogany Shannon of Greensboro; Diane Baynes and Juarez Little of High Point; Delphine Jones and Andrea Lowe of Madison; George Amoah from McLeansville; Ben Griffin from Reidsville; Dixie Cassell, Sonya Scales and Tonya Scales of Stoneville; Bobby Baity of Snow Camp; Kevin Williams of Axton, Va. and Larry Thomas of Ridgeway, Va.
“Each payday we play five dollars worth of tickets on whatever game has the higher jackpot,” said Tonya Scales, the group’s spokesperson. “Bobby (Baity) checks our numbers. That morning, I guess he emailed or called and I didn’t respond so he called Dixie (Cassell)…she started calling and texting…The phone rung and she said ‘Bobby says we need to check those numbers very carefully. It looks like we won something.’ I went online and saw all five numbers light up yellow… I said ‘We won a million dollars.’”
Each winner received a check for $34,000 after taxes were withheld. Members have different plans for their prize money, including paying bills, helping family, contributing to college funds and taking vacations. The group has played lottery games together for more than a year. By matching all five white balls but not the red Power Ball, the group beat odds of 1 in 5,153,633.
“This is a group of good people,” Tonya Scales said. “I felt like we were blessed.”
The Powerball jackpot for tonight’s drawing is an estimated $212 million if taken as an annuity or $142.9 million if the lump sum option is chosen. If a North Carolina player were to match all six numbers in the drawing, it would be the biggest win in the state since the lottery launched in 2006.
The jackpot reset on June 13 when a ticket sold in Iowa matched all six numbers and won the $241 million jackpot and has continued to roll since. If no one wins the jackpot tonight, the jackpot for Saturday’s drawing will grow to an estimated $253 million.
Since the lottery began through June 30, 2011, Rockingham County education programs received more than $18.2 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.
To date, the N.C. Education Lottery has raised more than $2.45 billion for these initiatives statewide.