JACKSONVILLE, NC (WWAY) — Sharon Lindsey of Jacksonville always said she would win big one day, and on September 25, her premonition came true with a $357,731 Fast Play win.
“I literally could not believe that I won the jackpot,” she recalled. “It’s still sinking in. It’s so surreal to me.”
Lindsey purchased her $10 Jackpot 7’s ticket from CJ’s Food Store on Gum Branch Road in Jacksonville.
“I didn’t check it immediately because I never check mine at the store,” she said. “I have the lottery app on my phone so I was scanning and checking the tickets and it said, ‘Claim at North Carolina headquarters,’ and I just started screaming. I said, ‘No, no, no way!’ I could not believe it.”
She claimed her prize Wednesday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh. After required federal and state tax withholdings, she took home $253,098.
“I’ve always told myself, ‘I’m gonna win the lottery and win big one day,’” said Lindsey. “I’ve always said that.”
Lindsey’s jackpot became the largest won so far in the new Fast Play games that began in September. Fast Play games are the first new type of games offered by the N.C. Education Lottery in three years.
The rolling, progressive jackpot is an exciting part of the new Fast Play games because it increases with every ticket sold until it is won. Fast Play games also give players the chance to win cash prizes instantly, too. The odds of winning the Fast Play jackpot are 1 in 240,000.
As of Thursday, jackpots have been hit six times in the first month of the game. Two of those wins came on Sunday.
First, Wendy Diaz of Southport purchased her $5 Rockin’ Bingo ticket at the Sunny Point C Store on George II Highway in Southport and won a $25,857 jackpot. Since it was a $5 ticket, it claimed half of the jackpot at that time.
Later that day, Darnesha Small bought her $5 Rockin’ Bingo ticket at the Food Lion in Washington Square Mall in Washington, N.C. and won $14,200—half of that jackpot at that time. She plans to put the majority of her prize money into savings.