Arthur and Helen Hemby of Sanford will be able to help their daughter recover from Hurricane Matthew after winning a $1,184,357 Cash 5 jackpot.
“Our daughter lost her house and had to live in a motel for nine months,” Hemby said.
“The whole house was under water,” his wife Helen described. “This will really help us.”
They beat odds of one in 749,398 to win the jackpot in Thursday’s drawing. It was the second-largest prize ever won by a single Cash 5 ticket
Hemby decided to check his ticket early Friday morning. When he realized he matched all five numbers he rushed upstairs to tell his wife.
“He woke me up at 4:30 in the morning,” Helen said. “I didn’t believe it at first. I kept asking, ‘Are you sure?’” Hemby said, “I told her I had checked the numbers 100 times and then told her how much we won.”
“I started crying,” Helen added.
The couple claimed the jackpot Friday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh. After required state and federal withholdings, they received a check for $823,140. In addition to helping their daughter, they plan to pay a tithe to their church and set up a college account for their great-grandson.
“This is his future,” Helen said.
The couple also plans to spend some of the money on themselves.
“I want to build a new garage and get a new pair of tennis shoes.” Arthur said.
Hemby bought the $1 Quick Pick ticket at the Circle K on Hawkins Avenue in Sanford.
Ticket sales from draw games like Cash 5 make it possible for the lottery to raise more than half a billion dollars a year for the state. For details on how lottery funds have made a difference in Lee County, click on the “For Education” section of the lottery’s website.