RALEIGH – Bruce Annas of Granite Falls and Paul Herman of Hickory split the $200,000 top prize on their Power 7’s instant scratch-off ticket.

After taxes were withheld, they each received a check for $68,000. The lucky ticket was purchased at Mel’s Superette on Old Lenoir Road in Hickory.

As of Thursday morning, three top prizes remain to be claimed in the Power 7’s game.

Ticket sales for games such as Power 7’s have enabled the lottery to raise more than $2.6 billion for education initiatives statewide. Since the lottery began through June 30, 2012, Caldwell County education programs received more than $17.8 million in lottery funds and Catawba County educations programs have received $35.3 million. 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.