For Mother’s Day, Vielka Roman of Autryville got the gift of a lifetime when her sister’s present to her turned into a $1.3 million jackpot.

“I just can’t believe it,” said Roman. “I’m still in shock.”

On Sunday, Roman, her fiancé, Al, and her sister, Neris, all went out for a celebratory Mother’s Day meal. After dinner, they stopped at Carlie C’s IGA on Cedar Creek Road in Fayetteville.

“Carolina Cash 5 is her favorite game,” said Neris. “So I bought her the lucky ticket as a Mother’s Day present.”

The next day, Roman and her fiancé headed to the mountains for a short vacation. On the drive up, Roman asked Al to look up if they had won anything in Sunday’s drawing.

“I was looking at the app on the phone and I saw confetti burst,” said Al. “I had to check the numbers five times to make sure they were real.”

They turned the car around right away and headed to lottery headquarters in Raleigh to claim her prize – but not before picking up Roman’s sister.

“We are very close,” said Roman. “She was the first person I called!”

“I think everyone would like to have a sister like her,” said Neris. “She has always been there for me. And when she won she said to me, ‘If I win, then you also win.’”

Sunday’s jackpot was the third largest in Carolina Cash 5 history, totaling $1,354,174. After required state and federal withholdings, Roman took home $958,078. She plans to use the prize to make life easier by paying off the house and her car.

“We just moved here, just bought a house,” said Roman. “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.”
Draw games like Carolina Cash 5 make it possible for the lottery to raise more than $650 million a year for education. For details on how $4.9 million in lottery funds have made a difference in Sampson County, click on the “Impact” section of the lottery’s website.