RALEIGH – Cheryl Powell, a reading and math teacher from Sparta, plans to use the $360,110 prize she won playing Carolina Cash 5 to retire and spend more time with her family.
Powell, a teacher for 28 years, beat odds of 1 in 575,757 when her ticket matched all five numbers in the Feb. 2 drawing. She learned of her big win on Monday morning when she stopped in for coffee at the Four Brothers on U.S. 21 South in Sparta, where she made her lucky purchase.
“The clerk scanned my ticket and the machine said I needed to claim my prize at lottery headquarters,” Powell said. “Then she came around the counter, gave me a hug and told me what I had won. I started shaking. The people behind the counter just started jumping up and down and so did I. Even my students that day remarked about what a good mood I was in.”
After state and federal taxes were withheld, Powell received a check for $249,197.
“I never dreamed I would actually win,” Powell said as she collected her winnings on Wednesday. “This is an incredible feeling.”
As of December 2013, the lottery has raised more than $3.19 billion to benefit education programs. Lottery dollars support teachers’ salaries in grades K-3, school construction and repair projects, prekindergarten programs for at-risk four-year-olds, need-based college scholarships and financial aid and digital learning initiatives.
To see how more than $3.3 million in lottery dollars have made a difference in Alleghany County, go to the Where the Money Goes webpage at http://www.nc-educationlottery.org/beneficiary.aspx.