RALEIGH – Louise Hare of Raleigh was on her way to eat dinner Tuesday night when she cashed in some winning lottery tickets at the Stop 1 Market on Peace Street. While there, she bought a $5 ticket for the $250,000 Cash Money game – but didn’t scratch it off until she got home. That’s when she found out she won the top prize.

“It was total shock,” she recalled. “I called my dad and said, ‘Are you sitting down? I think I might have won $250,000 on a scratch-off ticket.’”

Hare, who has a master’s degree in the field of social work, said that a portion of her after-tax winnings of $173,001 will serve the greater good.

“I’m excited about it,” she said. “It gives me the freedom to explore needs in the community, and try to make a difference.”

The $250,000 Cash Money game started Jan. 7 with six top prizes of $250,000. With Hare’s claim, one top prize – and many other prizes – are still in the game.

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.