The lucky player, who chose to remain anonymous, bought the winning ticket at the Thumb Meat Market, located at 200 East Frank Street in Caro.
“Our refrigerator died a few days ago and I was cleaning it out when I took a break to scratch my Hot Jackpot ticket,” said the player. “When I saw the matching ‘28’ symbols I was excited because I thought I’d won $50,000.
“My husband has always been skeptical of the Lottery, so when I called him up to the house from our pole barn to tell him the good news he told me ‘Don’t get your hopes up.’”
When the player and her husband looked at the ticket they were both excited at the thought of winning $50,000. After celebrating, they couple decided to go back to the Thumb Meat Market to do some shopping and show the store manager the ticket.
“I did some shopping while my husband showed the manager the ticket,” said the player. “After a little while, my husband finds me in the store to tell me that the manager had informed him we didn’t win $50,000, but actually had won $500,000.
“At that moment I couldn’t stop trembling. Even I couldn’t believe we’d won that much.”
The player visited Lottery headquarters Tuesday to claim the big prize. With her winnings she plans to pay bills, donate to a church, help a few friends in need, and take a trip to Hawaii.
“God has blessed me, and now I’m going to bless some others,” said the player. “I feel like I have an angel watching over me.”
As for the player’s husband, he has a new view of the Lottery.
“She made a believer out of me, that’s for sure. I’ll never question her buying a Lottery ticket again,” he said.
Players have won more than $20 million playing Hot Jackpot, which launched in January 2016. Each $5 ticket offers players a chance to win prizes ranging from $5 up to $500,000. More than $26.9 million in prizes remain, including two $500,000 top prizes, eight $25,000 prizes, and 30 $1,000 prizes.
Lottery instant games may be purchased at 11,000 retailers across the state.
In 2016, Lottery players won nearly $817 million playing instant games.