Jorge Polanco, a maintenance worker from Charlotte, said that winning $250,000 playing Mega Millions means he can take his wife and three kids on a trip to Nicaragua. Though his family has called Charlotte home for 14 years, Polanco and his wife have not been back to the country they are originally from for 23 years.
Polanco beat odds of 1 in 3.9 million to match all five white balls, but not the gold Mega Ball, in Friday’s drawing. On Saturday afternoon, he logged onto the lottery’s website for the results and discovered he had won $250,000. Polanco let the computer pick the numbers on the winning ticket he purchased at the Kangaroo Express on Randolph Road in Charlotte. After required state and federal withholdings, the prize was worth $170,000.
Polanco said he always has a ticket for the twice-weekly Mega Millions drawings. Because no ticket matched all six numbers in Friday’s drawing, Tuesday’s jackpot is an estimated $106 million if claimed as an annuity, or a one-time cash payment of $71.8 million.
Ticket sales for games such as Mega Millions make it possible for the N.C. Education Lottery to raise money for education programs in all 100 counties. To see how more than $210.9 million in lottery dollars have made a difference in Mecklenburg County, click on the “Where the Money Goes” page on the lottery’s website.