Wilmington grandmother wins $350,000 lottery prize


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A Wilmington grandmother won big during an lottery live event Tuesday.

North Carolina Education Lottery says Julia Earp of Wilmington is the first player to spin the lottery’s BIG SPIN prize wheel and win $350,000.

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She spun the wheel Tuesday during a live event in Raleigh. Surrounded by cheers and applause, she grabbed the wheel, spun it as hard as she could, and watched eagerly to see what prize she would land on.

“I figured no matter what I won, I’d be tickled with what I got,” Earp said. “I came out with more than I had when I came in, so this is amazing!”

The grandmother of eight said she’s a big game show fan and developed a strategy of how to spin the wheel.

“My plan was to spin the wheel so hard that I’d fall on my heinie,” Earp said with a laugh.

Earp’s good luck started well before she entered the TV studio.  It started when she stopped on her way to work at the Circle K on Oleander Drive in Wilmington and bought The BIG SPIN scratch-off ticket. When she realized she had the chance to win half a million dollars, she couldn’t believe it.

“Whenever I thought about the fact that I won, I’d say, ‘Thank you Jesus!’” said Earp, who cares for the elderly. “I’m still saying it. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!”

After required state and federal tax withholdings, Earp took home $247,518.

She plans to use the money to take care of her grandchildren including paying for their schooling.