RALEIGH – Ronnie Tipton’s decision to play his favorite numbers “one more time” paid off when the Spruce Pine man won $137,263 in the April 16 Carolina Cash 5 drawing.

Tipton was one of two players to match all five numbers in the drawing. He claimed his half of the $274,526 jackpot Thursday afternoon at lottery headquarters.

Tipton said his favorite numbers are a combination of his birth month, “4”, the date he traditionally celebrates his birthday, “5”, and a random assortment of other numerals. His lucky numbers beat odds of 1 in 575,757.

“I actually started not to even play my Cash 5 numbers,” said Tipton. “My hands have been shaking for a week now.”

Tipton bought his winning ticket at the Ingles on Greenwood Road in Spruce Pine.

After taxes were withheld, Tipton received a check for $93,339. He said he’ll use the money to pay off his home, cut his bills and save for “a rainy day.”
The other half of the jackpot was claimed Wednesday, April 17, by Larry Weikert of Corapeake in Gates County.

Ticket sales for games such as Carolina Cash 5 have enabled the lottery to raise more than $2.8 billion for education initiatives statewide. Since the lottery began through June 30, 2012, Mitchell County education programs received more than $3.2 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.