Davie family wins $1.05 million lottery prize

Published 10:06 am Thursday, January 10, 2019

RALEIGH – A family tradition of playing the lottery led James Michael, his brother Dennis Craig Michael, and his brother-in-law William Randall Ward to a $1,055,993 Cash 5 jackpot win.

“We always play Cash 5 once it gets to around $400,000,” said James, a retired insurance agent.

When the Mocksville family saw that the jackpot for the Dec. 21 drawing was over $1 million, they made sure to get tickets. They each pitched in $10 and bought 30 Quick Pick tickets. They found out they won early the next morning.

“I used the lottery app to check my tickets,” James said. ‘We usually only win $1 or $5, so I wasn’t expecting much. When I got to the third ticket I was in shock.”

The ticket matched all five numbers, beating odds of one in 962,598. James immediately called his brother, who was sleeping.

“It was five in the morning,” Craig said. “My first reaction was, ‘Why are you lying to me?’ I couldn’t believe it when he told us we won.”

James called his brother-in-law next.

“My wife answered the phone,” Ward said. “I heard her ask, ‘Did we win?’ I didn’t expect her to say we actually did.”

The family claimed the jackpot last week at lottery headquarters in Raleigh. After required state and federal tax withholdings, they shared $747,116.

James plans to use the money to make some repairs to his house. “We’ve got hard water,” he said. “The first thing we’re going to do is buy two new toilets.”

Craig, who flips houses, plans to invest the money in his business.

And Ward, a retired high school football coach, plans to save the money for retirement.     

Cash 5 is a statewide draw game that gives players the chance to win a jackpot every night. Tickets cost $1 and players can buy tickets at most lottery retailers or through Online Play on the lottery’s website.

The lottery mobile app allows players to scan their ticket and see if it’s a winner. Players can also use the app to enter tickets into the lottery’s Lucke-Rewards Players Club for extra chances to win.

Ticket sales from draw games like Cash 5 make it possible for the lottery to raise more than $650 million a year for education. For details on how lottery funds have been spent in North Carolina’s 100 counties, click on the “Impact” section at https://www.nclottery.com.