RALEIGH – Jose Belardo Jr. of Fayetteville said the $150,000 prize he won playing the Bonus Jackpot game came as a complete surprise.
“I was lying in bed on Saturday morning and I had the ticket I’d bought the night before,” Belardo said. “When I scratched it, I thought I had won my money back. When I looked at it, I almost fell out of bed. I couldn’t believe it. I was so happy.”
Belardo, who works as a machine operator for Smithfield Packing Company, received a check for $102,001 after state and federal taxes were withheld. He plans to use the money to save for his daughters’ future, take a trip to Las Vegas and pay bills.
“I know one thing is for sure,” Belardo said as he received his winnings. “I’m going to give my daughters the Christmas that I never got to have. This feels so good.”
Belardo purchased his lucky ticket at the Kangaroo Express on Bunce Road in Fayetteville. He is the second player to win the game’s top prize. As of Monday afternoon, two top prizes remain to be claimed in the $5 Bonus Jackpot game.
As of Sept. 30, 2013, the lottery has raised more than $3 billion to support education programs. Lottery dollars support teachers’ salaries in grades K-3, school construction and repair projects, prekindergarten programs for at-risk four-year-olds, college scholarships and financial aid based on need and digital learning initiatives.
To see how more than $97.9 million in lottery dollars have made a difference in Cumberland County, go to the Where the Money Goes webpage at http://www.nc-educationlottery.org/beneficiary.aspx.