Renetta Williams of Charlotte is celebrating her 57th birthday with a $200,000 lottery prize.
“It’s the best birthday gift I could have asked for,” Williams said. “I’m going to celebrate the whole month long.”
The school cook’s good fortune happened Tuesday, when she stopped by the PC Mart on The Plaza in Charlotte on her way home from work and bought some Queen of Hearts scratch-off tickets.
“I always get a couple of tickets when I want to treat myself,” Williams said.
She took the $5 tickets home and scratched them with her husband.
“I didn’t believe it at first,” Williams said. “I showed my husband and then rushed to the claim center in Charlotte to see if it was real.”
It started to set in when she claimed her prize Tuesday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh. After required state and federal tax withholdings, she took home $139,003. She plans to use some of the money to help her church and pay bills.
Williams is the first player to win the Queen of Hearts $200,000 top prize since the game launched earlier this month. Six top prizes remain.
Ticket sales from instant games like Queen of Hearts make it possible for the lottery to raise more than $600 million a year for education. For details on how lottery funds have made a difference in all of North Carolina’s 100 counties, click on the “For Education” section of the lottery’s website.