Multi-state lottery games make North Carolina players millionaires overnight

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Two players hit it big under extraordinary circumstances

By Kate Northrop

The recent Mega Millions and Powerball drawings created dozens of millionaires overnight after players rushed to buy their tickets and join the fray. Two lucky North Carolina residents are among those who found themselves richer under some rather unique circumstances.

Anthony Dowe of Leland was one of those players. He had purchased tickets for the Mega Millions drawing on Fri., Jan. 22 for the historic $1.05 billion jackpot but did not check them until after a rather unfortunate event that occurred the next day when he was on his way to work.

“I hit two deer with my brand-new car,” he said in a press release. “So, I just got mad, went back home, got into bed, and went to sleep. Then I woke up and checked my tickets. I checked the fourth ticket, and I saw the ‘4’ and then the next number and the next number and the next number.”

Dowe, who works in shipping and receiving, did not hit the jackpot, but he had certainly struck something big. He beat the odds of 1 in 12.6 million to match all five numbers save for the Mega Ball to win a second-tier prize of $1 million. Not only that, but his Megaplier ticket doubled the prize to $2 million when the 2X multiplier number was drawn.

“I’m like, ‘Wow!’ It was just crazy,” he recalled.

The winning numbers for that drawing were 4, 26, 42, 50, and 60, with Mega Ball 24. Dowe purchased the $3 Quick Pick ticket with the Megaplier at the Minuteman Food Mart on Mercantile Drive in Leland.

“I went and showed my dad and my mom, and everybody was happy,” Dowe told the North Carolina Lottery.

He made the trip to Lottery headquarters in Raleigh to claim his prize on Monday and took home $1,415,001 after federal and state taxes. The money will help him take care of his family and pay off some expenses, with the rest going into savings.

“It just feels great,” he said. “I’m just gonna fix things on my mother and father’s house and get my car fixed, pay it off, and pay my niece’s car off.”

Meanwhile, another North Carolina resident had a very touching success story of his own. Kevin Halterman of Pfafftown is one of the dozens of lottery players who walked away from the Powerball drawing on Sat., Jan 23 with a second-tier prize. He won a $1 million prize when he discovered and played some very special numbers.

“My dad passed away in March, and he had some numbers that he used to play,” Halterman explained. “I dug them back up and I started playing them, and those happened to be the numbers that hit.”

His winning ticket was purchased for $2 at the Family Fare convenience store on Reynolda Road in Winston-Salem. Turns out, those numbers beat the odds of 1 in 11.6 million to match five numbers in the drawing, which were 5, 8, 17, 27, and 28 with Powerball 14.

“I just figure he helped me out a lot,” Halterman told the Lottery. “I’m lucky.”

Halterman also claimed his prize on Monday at Lottery headquarters. His total winnings came to $707,506 after federal and state taxes were withheld.

According to USA Mega, the Mega Millions jackpot currently stands at $25 million, an $18.6 million cash value. The drawing will take place this Fri., Jan. 29. The Powerball jackpot sits at $30 million with a cash value of $22.5 million and will be drawn for this coming Sat., Jan. 30.

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