STATESVILLE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) - Christy Steele of Statesville is celebrating her birthday early this year after winning the first $1 million prize in the new $25,000,000 Casino Cash game, according to NC Education Lottery.
“I’m still processing it, I can’t believe it,” said Steele, an IT project manager. “Last year, I was bummed because I got a speeding ticket the week before my birthday. This year I got a winning ticket!”
Lottery officials said Steele was taking care of some family business when she decided to purchase the lucky $10 ticket at Barker’s Log Cabin Grocery on Harmony Highway in Harmony.
“I was just feeling lucky that day for some reason,” said Steele. “I figured I’d give it a try.”
Steele scratched one of the four games on the ticket to reveal the top prize of $1 million.
“My kids didn’t believe me,” said Steele. “They were like, ‘Mama, OK, whatever. Stop playing.’ Finally my daughter said, ‘I don’t think she’s playing this time!’”
Steele claimed her prize Friday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh. Winners have the option to take an annuity of $50,000 a year over 20 years or a lump sum of $600,000. Steele chose the lump sum. After required federal and state withholdings, she took home $424,503. Steele plans to invest the money as well as pay for her daughter’s college tuition.
“We helped our son graduate college debt-free,” said Steele. “I plan to do the same for our daughter.”