Jeff Gould of Wilmington is getting to pick a Jeep of his dreams after winning a second-chance drawing in the lottery’s Jeep Brand scratch-off game.
Gould, a handyman, met lottery officials Monday at the Wilmington claims center, but he wasn’t sure exactly what he had won. “I had narrowed it down to a couple of possibilities,” he said. “But I didn’t realize it was a new Jeep.”
Blindfolded, Gould walked out into the parking lot, had his blindfold removed, and saw three brand new Jeeps from Neuwirth Motors in Wilmington for him to choose from.
“It’s unbelievable!,” Gould said. “Just unbelievable! You never think you’re actually going to win when you enter these drawings.”
Gould gets to choose between a 2017 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon, Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited, and a Jeep Renegade Trailhawk. The Jeep prize is valued at $45,203 and that includes cash for winners to choose their own options for their Jeep.
“I’m leaning toward the Grand Cherokee,” Gould said. “I do a lot of trips, so this will be what I need.”
Gould, who owns his own home repair and lawn business, said winning the drawing came at the perfect time.
“The funny thing is, I was just talking to my wife about switching out my work truck for an SUV when I retire in a couple of years,” Gould said. “This really is a dream come true.”
The N.C. Education Lottery and Jeep teamed up to create North Carolina’s first Jeep ticket. The game, which started in June, offered four $200,000 top prizes that can be won instantly. Two of the four top prizes have already been won.
Besides the top prize, players enter their tickets into second-chance drawings for a chance to win a Jeep Brand Vehicle. Gould had one of 196,456 entries in the first second-chance drawing, which had two Jeeps as prizes. The second winner has not yet claimed the prize.
The deadlines for entries in the second drawing is July 31 and the drawing is scheduled for Aug. 9.
Ticket sales from games like Jeep made it possible for the lottery to raise more than half a billion dollars for the state last year. For details on how lottery funds has made a difference in Hanover County, click on the “For Education” section of the lottery’s website.