A lottery ticket turned out to be the Mother’s Day “gift of a lifetime” for a North Carolina woman: She won a $1.3 million jackpot, lottery officials announced Tuesday.
Vielka Roman’s sister, Neris, bought her a Carolina Cash 5 ticket as a gift after celebrating Mother’s Day over dinner last Sunday, according to a press release from the NC Education lottery. The next day, Roman asked her fiancé, Al, to check the numbers while they were driving up to the mountains for vacation.
“I was looking at the app on the phone and I saw confetti burst,” he said in a statement. “I had to check the numbers five times to make sure they were real.”
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After realizing the ticket was a winner, the couple headed straight to the lottery headquarters, the press release said. Roman told lottery officials her sister was the first person she called, and she picked her up on the way to claim her prize.
“I think everyone would like to have a sister like her,” Neris said in a statement. “She has always been there for me. And when she won, she said to me, ‘If I win, then you also win.’”
The jackpot is the third largest in Carolina Cash 5 history, lottery officials said. Roman, who took home $958,078 after required state and federal withholdings, plans to use the money to pay off her house and car.
“It will be nice to have room to breathe. Neris can have more time to plant in her garden. We will be able to spend more time with each other as a family,” Roman said in the statement.
Follow N'dea Yancey-Bragg on Twitter: @NdeaYanceyBragg
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Woman wins $1.3 million 'gift of a lifetime' after checking Mother's Day lottery ticket