RALEIGH – Rocky Mount city worker Walter Johnson plans to use the $100,000 he won playing the $100,000 Crossword game to pay off his mortgage.

Johnson was at home when he learned of his big win.

“I had gone to the store to get a Pick 3 ticket and asked the clerk to give me a scratch-off ticket,” Johnson said. “I scratched it off when I sat down at home and I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t sleep at all. Every time I closed my eyes, I saw the ticket in my mind. It still hasn’t registered yet. It doesn’t feel real.”

Johnson plans to use a portion of his winnings to pay bills and maybe take a family vacation. After taxes were withheld, Johnson received a check for $68,001. He purchased the lucky $5 ticket at the Kangaroo Express on Raleigh Road in Rocky Mount.

“It’s going to feel so good to get rid of my house payment,” Johnson said as he collected his winnings. “I will never forget this day. I feel like a young man again, I’m so happy.”

As of Friday afternoon, three top prizes of $100,000 and many other prizes remain unclaimed in the game.

Ticket sales for games such as instant scratch-offs have enabled the lottery to raise more than $2.6 billion for education initiatives statewide. Since the lottery began through June 30, 2012, Nash County education programs received more than $26.4 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.