Marine veteran uses family birthdays to win Cash 5 jackpot

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Carolina Cash 5 game. (Photo: NC Education Lottery)

ONSLOW COUNTY (WWAY) — Gerald Martin of Midway Park said he had family on his mind when he picked the numbers that won him a $120,427 Cash 5 jackpot.

“I used my wife’s, my son’s, and my grandchildren’s birthdays to pick the numbers,” Martin said. “I normally don’t play those numbers, but I just had a hunch.”

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The Marine veteran bought the $1 ticket for Wednesday’s drawing at the Food Lion on Freedom Way in Jacksonville. He checked the numbers just after midnight.

“I know the numbers by heart,” Martin said. “So when I saw them I was like, ‘Where’s my ticket? Those are my numbers.’”

He found his ticket on the floor by his couch. The ticket beat odds of 749,398 to win the jackpot. Martin claimed the prize Thursday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh. After required state and federal tax withholdings, he took home $84,903. He plans to use the money to help his family and do something special for his four grandchildren.



“Winning is like a dream,” Martin said. “It finally happened!”

Ticket sales from draw games like Cash 5 make it possible for the lottery to raise more than $600 million dollars a year for education. For details on how lottery funds have made a difference in all of North Carolina’s 100 counties click on the “Impact” section of the lottery’s website.