Big winners in the record Nov. 28 $587.5 million Powerball jackpot drawing included three $1 million tickets purchased in North Carolina.
Leslie Rouse and his son, Christopher, who work together on their family farm, were the first players to claim their cash.
Christopher, who lives in Winterville, learned of their big win when he checked the numbers online on the morning of Nov. 29. He then called his father, who lives in Kinston, to share the news.
“I called and asked him what it means if I get five numbers in a row,” Christopher said. “He didn’t believe me.”
[pullquote]“I called and asked him what it means if I get five numbers in a row,” Christopher said. “He didn’t believe me.”[/pullquote]The Rouses each claimed a $500,000 prize. After taxes were withheld, they each received a check for $340,000. Christopher said he plans to use his share of the winnings to help his wife pay for college and save for his children’s future.
“Being a farmer, I have acquired quite a few bills,” Leslie said. “This money will help take a lot off of us. I also have kids in school to take care of. The rest I’m going to invest and put away.”
Clyde Tillman, the second winner to come forward, purchased his winning ticket at the Circle K on Selwyn Avenue in Charlotte.
Robin Stanfield of Mebane was the last winner to come forward. Stanfield was at work when she learned she had matched all five white balls in the drawing.
“I had heard that no one in North Carolina had won the jackpot,” Stanfield said. “I really didn’t think any more about it. Then a friend of mine texted me and said someone bought a winning ticket in Burlington. I got a co-worker to pull up the numbers on his smartphone and I called out my numbers to him. He thought it was a joke, but then I started shaking and getting excited. It was a lot of feelings all at once.”
Stanfield plans to use a portion of her winnings to pay off her house, send her daughters to college, travel and give to her church.
“I still can’t believe it,” Stanfield said as she collected her winnings. “This is just surreal.”
Sales of Powerball tickets during the 16 drawings that occurred during the jackpot’s climb to $587.5 million resulted in $44.3 million in sales for that game alone in North Carolina. From those sales, an estimated $16.8 million will go to education programs in North Carolina.