Time to pick a new favorite
By Kate Northrop
DURHAM, S.C. — A North Carolina lottery player had to choose the next best lottery ticket when her favorite game was sold out at the store — and she ended up winning a $200,000 prize.
Joanne Pacheco of Durham had to go with another option when her preferred ticket wasn't available at the lottery retailer. That inconvenience couldn't have been more lucrative — she ended up winning a $200,000 top prize because of it.
Over the weekend, the lucky player visited the Lakeland St. Mini Mart on Lakeland Street in Durham and looked for her usual game.
"They didn't have my tickets," Pacheco told the North Carolina Lottery. "So, I said, 'Just give me four of those.'"
Pacheco ended up going with the $5 "7" scratch-off game, which was launched in May and features six different ticket design variations.
She headed home with her scratch-off tickets and got to work.
"I was sitting on my bed, thinking I can't believe this is real," she said when she recalled the moment she revealed a $200,000 top prize.
The winner visited Lottery headquarters in Raleigh on Wednesday to claim her prize and took home a grand total of $141,501 after federal and state taxes.
According to the Lottery, Pacheco had faced health problems in the past and decided to move to North Carolina from New Hampshire to be closer to her son.
"I'm gonna live happily for the rest of my life," Pacheco proclaimed. "That's all that matters to me."
Now that Pacheco claimed her prize, two more top prizes of $200,000 remain in the "7" game out of six originally available at its launch. There are also seven second prizes of $10,000 out of 12 remaining and 12 third prizes of $5,000 out of 18 left.