RALEIGH – Dale Strickland of Ocean Isle Beach is the winner of Saturday’s $661,409 Carolina Cash 5 jackpot – the largest Cash 5 jackpot awarded to a single winner this year.
On his way home from work late Saturday afternoon, Strickland stopped at Palms Grocery on Ocean Highway East in Winnabow where he bought a Cash 5 ticket. Sunday morning he checked the lottery’s website to see if his ticket matched any numbers in the drawing held the night before.
“I thought I hit 4,” he recalled. “Then I said ‘Uh-oh – I hit five!’”
Strickland, who has worked for 35 years as a wood yard technician, beat odds of 1 in 575,757 to win the jackpot. He kept his good luck a secret until Tuesday evening when he mentioned another recent lottery win in the area to his wife, Beth, who is a retired teacher.
“A couple from Southport won $100,000,” he said to her. “Tell me ten things you would do with $100,000.”
The first few items on her list, such as new beach chairs, sounded conservative to Dale. So he asked her to walk to the ocean with him to talk more. As they sat on the beach, Beth suspected what her husband was up to.
“You won $100,000 didn’t you?” she asked him. Dale then showed her a picture of his winning ticket on his smartphone. The estimated jackpot for the drawing was printed on the ticket.
“It was very exciting,” Beth recalled as the couple claimed the jackpot at lottery headquarters Wednesday afternoon. After state and federal taxes were withheld, their winnings totaled $449,758.
The Stricklands have added to their list of plans for the Cash 5 jackpot, including paying off their mortgage, sharing with their two adult sons, and vacationing to Hawaii.
The Cash 5 game has a promotion starting Sunday that offers players five extra chances to win as much as $50,000. The lottery will hold five Cash 5 Bonus Bucks drawings between now and next summer. In each drawing, five prizes will be awarded: One $50,000 grand prize, one $5,000 prize, and three $1,000 prizes.
To get a Bonus Bucks entry slip, a Cash 5 purchase of $5 must be made in one of two ways. A player can select five sets of numbers for one drawing on a single ticket or choose one set of numbers for five drawings on a single ticket. Along with the $5 Cash 5 ticket, an entry slip for the Bonus Bucks drawing will be generated at no extra cost.
Starting Sept. 9, entries will be valid for the first drawing to be held on Nov. 14. The odds of winning depend on how many entries are made before the Nov. 7 entry deadline. The entry slip received at the time of purchase must be kept and then validated at one of the lottery’s regional claim centers to collect a prize won in the drawing.
Ticket sales for games such as Carolina Cash 5 have enabled the lottery to raise more than $2.45 billion for education initiatives statewide. 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.