For John Murphy of Laurinburg, a $2 Powerball ticket made him the most recent North Carolinian to win $1 million playing the lottery.Murphy stopped at the Laurinburg Food Mart on Produce Market Road in Laurinburg Tuesday to get a few assorted items for his girlfriend, Tammy Mayo. A regular Pick 3 and Pick 4 player, Murphy decided to buy a Powerball ticket, letting the computer choose his numbers at random.
He didn’t look at the ticket again until Thursday afternoon when he stopped at another store to check the winning numbers. Upon realizing he matched all five white balls, Murphy shared the news of his good fortune with Mayo.
“He walked in and said, ‘Baby I hit,’” Mayo said. “I said, ‘Hit what?’” After Murphy showed her the winning ticket, Mayo was stunned. “I looked at it again and said ‘You got all five numbers!’”
Murphy, a North Carolina native who worked in textile factories for 30 years before retiring in 2004, collected his prize money at lottery headquarters on Friday afternoon. He was undecided about how to spend his after-tax winnings of $680,000.
“It’s hard to believe,” he said. “I feel good.”
Because no ticket matched all six numbers in Wednesday’s drawing, the Powerball jackpot for Saturday night’s drawing is an estimated $128 million if taken as an annuity or $83.7 million if the lump sum option is chosen. Wednesday’s drawing produced 16,310 winning tickets with prizes ranging from $4 to $1 million, totaling $1,124,586. The Saturday, May 19 drawing produced 18,908 winning tickets, totaling $131,128, with amounts ranging from $4 to $200.
Since the lottery began through June 30 of last year, Scotland County education programs received more than $10.6 million in lottery funds. By law, those funds pay for teachers’ salaries in grades K-3, school construction, prekindergarten programs for at-risk four-year-olds, and need-based college scholarships and financial aid.