North Carolina Woman 'Started To Freak Out' After Hitting Lottery Jackpot

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A lucky lottery player in North Carolina is recovering from a major jackpot win after purchasing a ticket using a special set of numbers that holds significance to her family.

Melinda Boyce, of Denver, recently purchased a $1 Cash 5 ticket using Online Play for the May 22 drawing, but instead of simply utilizing the Quick Pick option, she chose numbers that represented her family, according to a release from the NC Education Lottery.

"I used to do Quick Picks but I've been using family birthday numbers since January after seeing that someone else won doing that," she said.

Her new strategy ended up paying off in a big way. After purchasing her ticket, she later received an email notifying her that she won the $120,000 jackpot, beating the 1 in 962,598 odds of matching the numbers on all five white balls called in the drawing to win the prize.

"I started to freak out," she told lottery officials, laughing. "I kept saying, 'My numbers came up, my numbers came up.'"

Boyce claimed her prize at lottery headquarters in Raleigh on Wednesday (May 29), taking home a grand total of $85,800 after all required state and federal tax withholdings. According to lottery officials, she wants to use some of her winnings to pay bills but plans to save the rest. As for how she feels about her win, Boyce is still in disbelief.

"This is just insane," she said.

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