RALEIGH – Danny and Stephanie Crase, residents of Raleigh, plan to use the $2 million prize they won playing Powerball to help their grandchildren get a good education.

Danny Crase was at work when he realized his $3 Power Play ticket matched all five white balls but not the Powerball in the March 6 drawing.

“I had originally thought I’d won $200,” Danny said. “Then I went to my office and checked the numbers on the drawing results email I get from the lottery. I saw all those numbers staring me in the face. It was an extreme surprise, to say the least.”

Though he usually plays Powerball with a set of numbers based on family birthdays and anniversaries, his big win came from a collection of lucky numbers found in a fortune cookie.

“I’ve had that fortune for a while,” Danny said. “It’s still on my desk. I used a birthday for the Powerball number, but that’s how it goes. We’re still very happy with what we got.”

The couple plans to use a portion of their winnings, worth $1,360,000 after taxes were withheld, to take a trip and supplement their retirement. They enlisted the help of a financial planner before claiming their prize.

“This is pretty awesome,” Danny said as he received his winnings. “That moment when it truly hits me is still yet to come, but this feels good.”

The lucky ticket was purchased at the Food Lion on Leesville Road in Raleigh.
Tonight’s Powerball jackpot is an estimated $260 million if taken as an annuity or $161.1 million if taken as a lump sum. If won in North Carolina, it would mark the largest jackpot prize in state history.

Ticket sales for games such as Powerball have enabled the lottery to raise more than $2.6 billion for education initiatives statewide. Since the lottery began through June 30, 2012, Wake County education programs received more than $189 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.