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Lottery ticket worth $1M purchased in tornado-ravaged N.C. neighborhood

Apr 29, 2011, 11:27 am

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Someone purchased a Powerball ticket worth $1 million from a convenience store on New Bern Avenue in Raleigh, North Carolina, in a part of the city wracked by a tornado.

The drawing was Wednesday night, and the winner had not come forward late Thursday, said spokesman Van Denton of the N.C. Education Lottery. The ticket was purchased at the Express Mart-New Bern Station near Tarboro Street.

The winning numbers are 4-24-40-44-55. If the ticket had the Powerball number — 5 — the Express Mart customer would have won $20 million, Denton said.

Powerball tickets are sold in 42 states, with proceeds retained by participating state lotteries. The odds that a $2 Powerball ticket will win $1 million are less than 1 in 5.1 million.

Denton said the person with the winning ticket must come to lottery headquarters in Raleigh to collect the check. The holder of the winning ticket has 180 days to claim the cash prize, Denton said.

"We are looking forward to meeting the lucky winner," he said.

Amar Karki, a clerk at the Express Mart, said the sale of a winning ticket in East Raleigh "is a good thing," because so many residents who live in the area have been affected by the tornado that slashed through Raleigh on April 16. The trunks of trees that fell during the storm still line curbs, and blue tarps cover the damaged roofs of homes.

The Express Mart could also be a winner. The store is eligible for a $10,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket.

Karki said lottery sales make up the bulk of the store's profits.

"On Fridays and Saturdays, the store makes about $2,000," he said. "In a month, about $45,000."

The slow economy hasn't hurt lottery ticket sales, state officials say.

This week, the lottery transferred $119.1 million to the state's education lottery fund, drawn from revenues for the first three months of the year.

The sum easily eclipsed the $112 million during the same period last year and was the second highest three-month transfer in the lottery's history, lottery spokesman Ryan Kennemur said. In January, the lottery transferred $124.3 million into the state's education fund.

Lottery proceeds represent about 5.6 percent of the state's $7.8 billion education budget.

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