Lucky North Carolina Man Scores $200,000 Lottery Prize: 'Is This Real?'

By Sarah Tate

June 9, 2022

Photo: Getty Images

What would you do if you won the lottery? Take a dream vacation, purchase a new car, retire from your job? One lucky man in North Carolina plans to celebrate his recent win by buying his own home.

Jose Ponce Rodriguez, of Dudley, stopped by the Mount Olive Mobile & Tobacco on North Breazeale Avenue in Mount Olive to pick up a Cash Payout ticket, according to a release from the NC Education Lottery. He scratched off the $5 ticket to reveal he won the $200,000 grand prize, something he still had a difficult time believing was real.

"When I saw the prize I just stood for a while looking at it," said Rodriguez. "I kept saying to myself 'Is this real?'"

The lucky winner couldn't wait to tell his wife the good news, and her reaction was pretty relatable.

"I showed her the ticket when I got home and she just started laughing," he recalled. "She couldn't believe it was really true."

Rodriguez claimed his prize at lottery headquarters on Friday (June 3), taking home a grand total of $142,021 after all required state and federal taxes. When asked what he plans to do with his new winnings, the 27-year-old farmer told lottery officials he hopes to buy a new house and help out some family members.

"I've been planning to buy a home and now we have an opportunity to actually do it," he said.

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