A North Carolina woman is breathing a sigh of relief today, after she found a lost winning North Carolina Education Lottery Cash 5 lottery ticket, worth $532,234, after it had been missing since September.
Ana Maya of Graham is thanking her lucky stars that she happened to find the ticket just a few weeks before the March 6 expiration date.
“These last couple of months have been very stressful trying to find it,” Maya said. “I totally forgot where I put it.”
Maya, a 32-year-old customer service worker, bought her Quick Pick ticket on September 6 from Huff’s Interstate in Burlington. But she was in the process of moving when she hit the $532,234 jackpot. She had packed the ticket away for safe keeping, but apparently it was a little too safe.
Fortunately for Maya, as she unpacked more boxes from her move, she found the North Carolina Education Lottery ticket she had lost, Tuesday in an old notebook from high school. Right where she had placed it to keep it safe.
“I was very, very relieved when I finally found it,” Maya said. “That was the last place I would have looked.”
Maya plans to use the $346,005 she took home after state and federal taxes to put money aside for her two small kids, pay some bills, invest some, and take a well-deserved vacation.
Cash 5 is one of four lottery games in North Carolina where players have the option of buying their tickets 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.
Hopefully Maya is able to manage that money well. Many North Carolina cities fall well short in national rankings when it comes to smart money habits. Here’s where nearly every city ranks: