The winner of a $1 million Powerball prize in Charlotte thought somebody else won when she overheard people talking about it.
“I like playing draw games like Powerball,” Linda Thomas of Charlotte told state lottery officials in Raleigh when she claimed her prize on Monday. “So when I heard them talking about a $1 million win on Sunday, I thought, ‘Good for them.’ And honestly just didn’t think anything of it.”
The next day, Thomas, a quality control supervisor at a medical supply company, remembered she hadn’t checked her ticket. When she did, she was stunned.
“I always circle any numbers I match,” Thomas said. “So I circled the first number, then the next number, and it just kept going. I knew I had matched five numbers, but I didn’t know how much I had won.”
Her $2 ticket for the March 3 drawing matched the numbers on all five white balls to win $1 million. She beat odds of one in 11.7 million.
“I just can’t believe it.” Thomas said. “I’m going to buy a car. I’m thinking either a Jeep or an Audi.”
Thomas used her lucky numbers to buy a Powerball ticket every week. She bought the winning ticket at Earp’s convenience store on Cambridge Commons Drive in east Charlotte.
After required state and federal tax withholdings, she took home $705,010.
The jackpot for Wednesday’s Powerball drawing has reached $420 million, with an estimated lump sum of $248.7 million. The current jackpot ranks as the 14th largest in Powerball history. The odds of winning the jackpot: one in 292 million.