Turns out, the timing was right for this lucky winner
By Kate Northrop
It's a common fear among lottery players that your numbers would be picked in a drawing you did not enter, but one North Carolina woman could not have had better timing after missing a Powerball drawing and winning a $2 million prize in the next one.
Elizabeth Johnson of Lucama did not buy her Powerball ticket in time for the drawing on Wed., May 19, 2021, but that fateful error earned her $2 million in the one on Sat., May 22, 2021.
Johnson, who works as an interpreter, had a particularly busy day last Wednesday and rushed to buy an Online Play ticket for that night's Powerball drawing. However, she missed the 9:57 pm cutoff by one minute. Lucky for her, the Quick Pick she bought was valid for the next drawing on Saturday.
Since she thought she bought her ticket in time for Wednesday's drawing, she was stunned to find out that she had won $2 million in a drawing she never believed she entered.
"It was definitely a shock!" Johnson exclaimed. "When I got the message saying that I had won, I thought, 'Well, I didn't even play tonight.'"
Johnson had matched all five white balls to win a second-tier prize of $1 million. She had upgraded her ticket to a $3 Power Play ticket, doubling her prize when the 2X multiplier was drawn.
The numbers for the drawing on Sat., May 22, 2021 were 3, 19, 27, 37, 40, and Powerball 8. The odds of matching all five white balls are about 1 in 11.69 million.
The lucky winner visited North Carolina Lottery headquarters in Raleigh to claim her prize on Thursday. After federal and state taxes, she took home a grand total of $1,415,001. With her winnings, she said she plans on buying a house and taking her family to a fun destination.
"The kids want to go to Disneyland," Johnson told the Lottery. "We've never been and now we'll get to."
Currently, the Powerball jackpot sits at $268 million as an annuity for tonight's drawing. According to USA Mega, the cash value is $184.2 million. The odds of winning the jackpot in Powerball are about 1 in 292 million.