RALEIGH – Marilyn Fields of Raleigh, an alumni and longtime employee of Shaw University, won $2 million in Wednesday’s Powerball drawing. As she claimed her winnings, she said she would dedicate some of her prize to education.
Fields, the executive assistant to the President of Shaw University, said her lottery winnings will allow her to fully fund a scholarship in her family’s name and save for her grandchildren’s education.
“For me it was a miracle to attend Shaw University,” Fields said. “By awarding a student with the Richardson Johnson Fields Endowed Scholarship, I can give students who are doing the best that they can academically, but still need financial help, the same opportunity I had.”
Fields said she enjoys playing the lottery. She bought her lucky Powerball ticket at the Food Lion on Six Forks Road in Raleigh, where she has bought lottery tickets for years.
“I talk to people in line and tell them that the lottery is my fun because I’m helping education while I play,” Fields said. “My passion is education. It is enriching and is a means to make a better life.”
Fields was watching the morning news when she realized her numbers matched five white balls but not the red ball, beating odds of 1 in 5.1 million. Because she added the Power Play feature for an extra $1, what would have been a $1 million prize on a regular ticket was worth twice as much.
“When I saw that I matched the winning numbers, I was in disbelief,” Fields said. “I kicked my husband who was asleep at the time and said, ‘Get up! I think I’m a millionaire.’”
After state and federal taxes were withheld, Fields received a check for $1,384,000.
Ticket sales have made it possible for the lottery to raise more than $3.4 billion for the state. Net proceeds are used for prekindergarten programs for at-risk four-year-olds, teachers’ salaries in grades K-3, school construction, digital learning initiatives, need-based college scholarships and financial aid.
For details on how more than $233.6 million in lottery funds have made a difference in Wake County, click on the “Where the Money Goes” tab on the lottery’s website.