A Sanford woman won $250,000 on a scratch-off lottery ticket.

A Sanford woman is celebrating today, as she won the top prize of $250,000 on a scratch-off ticket from the North Carolina Education Lottery.

Patti Pilat won the top prize on a 20x The Cash scratch-off ticket purchased at the Walmart on NC 87 South in Sanford. Lottery officials said she is the first winner of the top prize in the new scratch-off ticket.

Pilat picked up her winnings this week at lottery headquarters, pocketing $177,526 after state and federal tax withholdings.

North Carolina Education Lottery officials said that the 20x The Cash game launched just this month and there are four $250,000 winning tickets out there.

“Ticket sales from scratch-off games make it possible for the lottery to raise more than $900 million per year for education. For details on how $4.3 million raised by the lottery made a difference in Lee County in 2020, visit www.nclottery.com and click on the “Impact” section.”

Locals have had a lot of good luck with the lottery recently, with two Cumberland County winners hitting on the same Cash 5 ticket in late January. Lola Allen from Fayetteville, and an unnamed person in Spring Lake, each won $264,419 – one third of a nearly $800,000 jackpot – before taxes.

“From the very beginning I’ve been using the same numbers,” Allen said. “They are my favorite numbers so I stuck with them. When they all fell into place, I was in shock. I was numb.”

The Cash 5 drawings are quite popular with residents, according to the North Carolina Education Lottery.

“Cash 5 is one of four lottery games in North Carolina where players have the option of buying their tickets at a retail store or through Online Play, either through the lottery’s website or with the NC Lottery Official Mobile App. Cash 5 tickets are $1 and drawings are held every night.”

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Brandon Plotnick is a former sports journalist, now living in the digital space with interests all over the musical and pop culture map.