Pender Co. Smart Start employee hits jackpot in education lottery

Carolina Cash 5. (Photo: NC Education Lottery)

PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A Pender County woman said she would use the more than $636,000 Carolina Cash 5 jackpot to start an education “legacy” for her family.

Connie Carr-Costin, the executive director of Smart Start of Pender County, won the Nov. 17 jackpot, totaling $363,788, with a ticket she purchased using Online Play on the Education Lottery’s website.

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After required federal and state withholdings, she received $450,528.

Carr-Costin said she planned to start college funds for her four grandchildren; help her own four children, including paying off their student loans; and then save the rest for retirement. “This is going to start a nice legacy for my family,” she said.

Her good luck started the day of the drawing when she signed into the lottery’s Online Play program and bought a $1 Cash 5 ticket. She says she plays Cash 5 whenever the jackpot exceeds $200,000 and was using the same numbers she had received from a Quick Pick ticket earlier in the month. The next morning she got the news of her lucky win through a notification on her N.C. Lottery Official Mobile app.

“My heart was racing,” said Carr-Costin.”I was all a flutter. I’d been playing for a while and I could get four numbers to win $250, but never could get the fifth. I said I’ve got to have a little faith.”

Cash 5 is a statewide draw game that gives players the chance to win a jackpot every single night. Wednesday’s jackpot is $100,000. The odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 962,958.