RALEIGH – Glenn Mace, a fireman and lifelong resident of Gastonia, is among the biggest Carolina Cash 5 jackpot winners in N.C. Education Lottery history. The $1 ticket he bought at Mountain Stop on Archie Whitesides Road in Gastonia matched all five numbers in Thursday’s drawing to win the $611,447 jackpot.

Friday morning, Mace stopped to have his ticket checked at another Gastonia store where he sometimes plays the lottery, Briana’s Corner Mart on Chapel Grove Road. There, the clerk scanned his ticket.

“Oh my, you have all five numbers,” she said to Mace. He called his wife of 32 years, Sherrie, to share the good news.

“He could hardly talk he was so excited,” she recalled.

While the couple knew they had won, they did not realize how much until Friday afternoon when they got to lottery headquarters in Raleigh. After required state and federal withholdings, the after-tax value of the prize totaled $415,784.

“I’m speechless,” Glenn said. “We’ll pay the house off first thing. And we’ve always wanted a little place at the beach, so we’ll see.” The couple added that they would share some of the winnings with their two adult children.

Cash 5 drawings are held every night, with a starting jackpot of $50,000. When no ticket matches all five numbers, the jackpot rolls to a larger amount. Before being hit Thursday night, the jackpot rolled eight times since the last time it was won on June 4.

Mace’s Cash 5 win is eighth on the list of the top ten Cash 5 prizes ever awarded to a single winner. The record belongs to a Zebulon man who won $1.07 million in the March 3 drawing.

Since the lottery began through June 30, 2012, Gaston County education programs received more than $55.2 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.

To date, the N.C. Education Lottery has raised more than $2.8 billion for these initiatives statewide.