Barbara Graves of Goldston said a combination of her family members’ birthdays helped her win $200,000 playing Powerball.
“I pick my own numbers,” Graves said. “I use my birthday, my kids’ birthday, and my granddaughter’s birthday. She’s always my Powerball.”
Graves beat odds of 913,129 to win the prize in Wednesday’s drawing. She saw her numbers come up while she was home watching the drawing on TV.
“I was like, ‘Oh my God! Oh my God!’” Graves said. “I was shaking and crying. I must have checked my ticket a hundred times.”
Even after Graves went to sleep, she said she still couldn’t believe it.
“I woke up in the middle of the night and thought I had been dreaming,” Graves said. “I actually went back to the computer to look up the numbers.”
Graves wasn’t dreaming, and she claimed her prize Thursday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh. After required state and federal withholdings, she received $138,915. She plans to use some of the money to get a silver metallic Honda Accord.
Graves bought the $3 Power Play when she stopped by the Brite Mart on North Main Street in Goldston. Her ticket matched the numbers on the four white balls and the Powerball to win $50,000. Because she added the Power Play feature, the prize quadrupled to $200,000 when the 4X multiplier was drawn.
Graves had one of 16 tickets winning big prizes in N.C. in Wednesday’s Powerball drawing. Fifteen other tickets won prizes from $50,000 to $1 million.
Ticket sales from draw games like Powerball 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 all of North Carolina’s 100 counties, click on the “For Education” section of the lottery’s website.