RALEIGH – Homer Buffaloe, a farmer from Zebulon, won Sunday’s $1,144,821 Carolina Cash 5 jackpot, the largest ever won by a single ticket. This was the second time he’d matched all five numbers in a Cash 5 drawing, the first coming back in Nov. 2010 when he claimed half of a $408,066 jackpot.
The ticket, sold at the One Stop Shop on Mitchell Mill Road, beat odds of 1 in 575,757 to win. Buffaloe hand-picked the winning numbers on a Cash 5 playslip, which were 24-26-30-32-33.
“The numbers just come to me,” Buffaloe said. “This time felt the same as it did the last time I won it. I guess I’ve always been lucky. Every time I buy a ticket, I feel like I’m going to win.”
Buffaloe received a check for $778,479 after state and federal taxes were withheld.
“I play Cash 5 because the odds are better,” Buffaloe said as he collected his winnings. “Lightning strikes twice sometimes and I hope to come back again.”
Since the lottery began, sales of Carolina Cash 5 tickets alone have generated more than $142.7 million for education.
Only one Carolina Cash 5 jackpot has ever been larger than Sunday’s. Three players split a $1,355,000 jackpot when three tickets matched all five numbers in the May 5, 2011 drawing. The previous record-holder for the largest Carolina Cash 5 jackpot ever awarded on a single ticket was a Greenville player who won $856,998 in the Nov. 11, 2007 drawing.
A Carolina Cash 5 promotion offers players extra chances to win as much as $50,000. In each of five Cash 5 Bonus Bucks drawings, five prizes are awarded: One $50,000 grand prize, one $5,000 prize, and three $1,000 prizes. Drawings have already been held on Nov. 14 and Jan. 16. The next one is scheduled for March 20, with an entry deadline of March 13. More details on the promotion are available on the lottery’s website.
Since the lottery began through June 30, 2012, Wake County education programs received more than $189.4 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. To date, the lottery has raised more than $2.6 billion for these initiatives statewide.