'Blessed' Mistake Lands North Carolina Woman Massive Lottery Win

By Sarah Tate

May 15, 2024

Photo: Khosrork/iStock/Getty Images

A woman who mistakenly played a new lottery game ended up winning big when she scored the massive jackpot.

Cynthia Harris, of Cary, was trying out what she thought was the non-playing mode of the new Bison Bonanza digital instant game, which has a progressive jackpot that can be won anytime, this week when she hit the $736,874 jackpot, according to a release from the NC Education Lottery. The game allows players to play anywhere from 50 cents up to $30.

"I thought I was playing on Demo mode," she said, recalling, "I was like, 'Wait how did this just happen?' It still hasn't set in yet."

While Harris thought her game wasn't active, lottery officials said she played a $2 ticket and won the "Epic jackpot" top level to score the huge prize, which is also the largest digital win since the lottery started offering digital instant games last fall.

Harris claimed her prize at lottery headquarters in Raleigh on Monday (May 13), taking home an impressive total of $526,866 after all required state and federal tax withholdings. According to lottery officials, she plans to use her winnings to help take care of her mother.

"I am a blessed person," she said.

Following Harris' win, the jackpot dropped back down to $50,000.

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