RALEIGH – The N.C. Education Lottery has completed its review of the award of a $200,000 prize in an instant game, Power 7’s, and has affirmed that the winner is Lisa Priola of Wilmington.
The review was initiated after it was determined that Priola’s mother, Grace Priola, was allowed to accept the prize on her daughter’s behalf. The review determined that lottery staff processed the claim and made the award without obtaining a photo identification of Lisa Priola.
Under lottery rules, winners must present a photo ID and proof of their Social Security number before they can claim a prize. If a winner is unable to collect a prize in person, they can have a representative accept an award on their behalf if that representative has power-of-attorney for the winner.
Lottery officials had advised Lisa Priola of that option when she reported she was unable to accept the prize in person. The failure to properly check the photo ID provided by Grace Priola led to a misidentification of Grace Priola as Lisa Priola. No power-of-attorney document was obtained by the lottery so when the misidentification became apparent the question arose over whether Grace Priola had the authority to accept the prize for her daughter. Therefore, the lottery began a review of the award of the prize to verify that it had paid the legitimate winner.
Lottery security officials met with the Priola family in Wilmington on Wednesday morning and obtained the power-of-attorney document affirming that Grace Priola could accept the prize on her daughter’s behalf.
“We have stringent rules and procedures about how prizes can be claimed, but unfortunately in this case they were not followed to the letter,” said Alice Garland, executive director of the N.C. Education Lottery. “We began today taking corrective actions to ensure our rules and procedures are followed fully in the future. The purpose of the review was to ensure that the legitimate winner of the $200,000 prize received it. That review affirms Lisa Priola as the winner and she will receive the prize she won.”
The winning ticket was purchased at the Wilco on Gordon Road in Wilmington. After required withholdings, the value of the prize was $136,001.
Ticket sales for games such as Power 7’s have enabled the lottery to raise more than $2.58 billion for education initiatives statewide. Since the lottery began through June 30, 2012, New Hanover County education programs received more than $41.2 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.