Hope Mills abuzz after $344.6 million winning Powerball ticket sold in town

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HOPE MILLS, N.C. (WNCN) — One lucky person will go home with $344.6 million after buying a ticket at a North Carolina store and winning the Powerball jackpot. 

The winning ticket was sold at Carlie C’s in Hope Mills.

“It’s just an unbelievable experience,” said Mack McLamb, president/co-owner of Carlie C’s. 

The store is eligible for a $50,000 award for selling the ticket. McLamb said they plan to throw a party for their employees to celebrate and put money toward store renovations.

“It’s an exciting time and all of us are really excited.”

Lottery officials said it’s the largest jackpot ever won in North Carolina involving a single ticket. It’s the fifth time a North Carolina ticket claimed a Powerball jackpot. 

“The lottery gives people a chance to dream a little and that’s what we’re about, a chance to dream,” said Townley Cheek with North Carolina Education Lottery. 

Plenty in Hope Mills are now dreaming of how they’d spend that money. 

“The first thing I’d do, I’d help all my family,” said shopper Fernando Correa.

“Buy a big house and a couple of vehicles, honestly,” said shopper Brittany Krieger. 

“I’d pay off a lot of debt for sure,” said shopper Isaiah Darden. 

Regardless, the funds still go to a good cause. Ticket sales help raise more than $650 million a year for education. 

No one’s claimed the $344.6 million prize yet, but they have 180 days to do so.

“We just put blessings on them,” said McLamb. “They’ve already been blessed now and hopefully they’ll put blessings on others.”

If you’re the winner, sign your ticket and put it in a secure place. It’s also recommended you call a financial adviser or attorney. 

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