Wilmington woman plans to see her daughter wrestle in state playoffs after winning $200,000 lottery prize

Wilmington woman plans to see her daughter wrestle in state playoffs after winning $200,000 lottery prize
Published: Jan. 31, 2023 at 10:10 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 31, 2023 at 4:15 PM EST
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The North Carolina Education Lottery announced that Natalie Carraway of Wilmington won a $200,000 prize while playing the Hot 5′s game.

According to the announcement, Carraway had told others the Hot 5′s top prize would be hers.

Her lucky ticket was purchased at the Circle K on Carolina Beach Road; the manager at the store said she is the biggest winner they’d ever had.

She scratched off the barcode and scanned it at the gas station and the screen read “proceed to lottery headquarters.” The manager said this only happens when it’s a big prize, so she scratched off the rest and saw it was $200,000. Carraway says her and her daughter kind of screamed, catching the attention of the other customers.

“I kept saying I was going to win the $200,000,” she said. “I was adamant about it.”

She stopped by lottery headquarters Monday to claim her prize and, after required state and federal tax withholdings, took home $142,501.

“This couldn’t have come at a better time,” Carraway told the NC Education Lottery. “It is such a blessing.”

In a call to WECT, Carraway said that the winnings will help her pay for necessities for her family

According to Carraway, she lives with her children and hasn’t had heat or air conditioning since August. She explained that she was behind on her rent going back 6 months. She is on food stamps but still worries about being able to buy enough food.

She also worried that she couldn’t see her daughter, a freshman at Eugene Ashley High School, wrestle in the state playoffs this Friday in Greensboro because of her SUV’s oil leak and bad tires. Now, she says she’s going to pay her debts, get her heat and car fixed and watch her daughter wrestle in the playoffs. After that, she’s not sure.

According to the NC Education Lottery, the Hot 5′s game debuted in July with five top prizes of $200,000. One $200,000 prize remains to be claimed.

Those who would like to learn more about how $11.5 million raised by the lottery made a difference in New Hanover County last year, please visit the lottery website and select the “Impact” section.