HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. – A Huntersville woman is all smiles to start the new year after winning a $1 million prize in last week’s Powerball drawing.
Ann LaFave had used the same five Powerball numbers for more than six years until Wednesday’s drawing—numbers from her birthday, her mom’s birthday, the jersey number of an old boyfriend, and the number used in memory of a friend.
The retired U.S. postmaster found out she won while checking the numbers in The Charlotte Observer.
“I said, ‘Oh, I have some numbers for a change,” LaFave recalled Monday as she collected her prize. “My birthday numbers were there. I saw the fourth number. Then I went to the kitchen to make sure my Powerball ticket was still good, came back and saw I had five numbers. And I started yelling and screaming.”
LaFave, a New York native, plans to help her family, buy a new car and move to a new apartment with the winnings. She will get $680,000 after federal and state taxes.
She purchased her winning ticket at the BI-LO on Rose Commons Drive in Huntersville.
“She’s done so much for the family,” said daughter Jennifer DiPaolo. “She is the most deserving person.”
One $1 million prize is still unclaimed, officials said. The ticket was bought at the Shell station on East Independence Boulevard in Matthews during the September 19 drawing.
The winning numbers were 1 - 5 - 8 - 39 -50 and the Powerball was 23. Players have 180 days after a drawing to claim a prize. The ticket will expire on March 18.
“It’s great to see people who enjoy the lottery like Ms. LaFave win a big prize,” said Alice Garland, executive director of the N.C. Education Lottery. “The improvements made in the Powerball game a year ago not only created more chances for North Carolinians to win big, but they have also boosted our Powerball sales and helped raise more money for education.”