RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A Harnett County man was so shocked after winning a $200,000 lottery prize that he had to go to sleep and see if his ticket was still a winner the next morning. Then he even had his parents confirm it, according to a news release from the N.C. Education Lottery.
Ismael Jimenez is a warehouse worker. He said he got off work Friday in Sanford and stopped to get gas at the Save More on South Horner Boulevard. He decided to try his luck with a $5 Mega Bucks ticket.
He won one of the 10 top prizes of $200,000.
Jimenez claimed his prize Tuesday, giving him more than $141,000 after taxes, the release said.
“I thought it was too good to be true,” he said. “I felt blessed.”
Jimenez added that it felt like a dream – so much so he went to bed that night and woke up to check if the prize was real.
Jimenez said his parents have always looked out for him, so he’s going to use the money to help take care of them.
“I’m going to give it to my parents. They have been through a lot. I feel like they deserve it,” Jimenez said. “They can pay off their house, fix up their cars and take care of bills they might have.”
There is still one Mega Bucks $200,000 prize that hasn’t been won, the lottery said.
Ticket sales from scratch-offs help the lottery raise more than $900 million per year for education. A $10 million grant using money raised by the lottery will help built a new elementary school in Harnett County, the release said.