WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- A Wilmington man has nearly a quarter-million extra dollars in his pocket to do some Christmas shopping after his lottery dream came true over the weekend.
Carroll Sears matched all five numbers in the Carolina Cash 5 drawing Saturday night. He won the jackpot of $357,664, which is $243,212 after taxes.
Sears, who works as a customer service specialist for a Wilmington retailer, said every week he buys $12 worth of Cash 5 tickets.
"I always hoped one of these days," Sears said Wednesday as he collected his winnings, according to a news release from the North Carolina Education Lottery. "It could have been $50,000. I did not have a clue how high it was. It's just something I hoped for. A man wants something to hope for, whether it's good weather, health, a good job, or winning the lottery."
Sears bought his Quick Pick ticket at the Masonboro Country Store on Masonboro Loop Road.
Sears said he planned to pay off bills and pay down his mortgage.
"I'd like to do something for my wife," he said. "Take a trip of her choosing. But that will be down the road."