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Lottery winner keeps winnings, keeps winning


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Imagine winning $200,000 and then having to worry you would not get the money. That's what happened to a Wilmington woman last night, after confusion involving her mom.

The North Carolina Education Lottery reviewed Lisa Priola's winning claim after it discovered her mother Grace was the one who claimed the prize.

On her way home Friday, Lisa took the last $10 she had in her pocket and tried her luck on a new scratch-off ticket.

"My friend brought me to the gas station and the girl was like, 'Look. The new tickets came out. Do you want to buy one?' I reached in my pocket. I seen I had ten bucks, and I was like, 'You know what? I'll go ahead and do it,'" Lisa said. "On my way home with my friend, just kind of scratching them off, and the main thing out of my mouth was, 'Oh, my God!'"

While Priola though her $200,000 win had changed her life, her dream quickly became a nightmare after she called the lottery office in Raleigh Monday morning.

"They asked me what the amount was for, and I told them, and they said unfortunately you have to go to Raleigh," Lisa said. "That's when the anxiety kicked in, like, 'I'm not going to have to do this. Mom, you have to do this for me.'"

Lottery officials were supposed to check her mother's ID, Social Security card and ask for a power of attorney note. Grace Priola had all of the papers, but she says the lottery didn't ask for the note.

She feels her name has been unfairly dragged through the mud by lottery officials.

"There's the woman that took the money. Took what money? I didn't take any money. I brought the check straight home here and gave it to my daughter. I'm not going to steal from my daughter. Are you crazy? Any mother would have done what I did," Grace said.

The lottery cleared up confusion this morning and says Lisa gets to keep her winnings, which after taxes are $136,001.

Lisa says she will keep playing scratch-offs. As a matter of fact she won $50 on a ticket today.

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