Travis Hairston of Newton can’t believe his luck after winning $200,000 playing the new Blazing 7’s game.

“I didn’t think it was real,” said Hairston. “My heart near about jumped out of my chest when I saw I had won.”

Hairston bought the lucky $5 ticket at the Propst Superette on N.C. 10 in Newton. When he scratched to reveal the ticket’s top prize of $200,000, he called his wife immediately.

“I was crying on Facetime to her,” said Hairston. “I said, ‘Don’t freak out, but I think I just won $200,000.’”

“I was in disbelief,” said his wife, Miranda. “He had to flip the phone around to show me the ticket. And then I started crying too!”

The couple, who have been married fifteen years, called Miranda’s mom to share the good news.

“We’ve had some bad luck lately and she’s always been there for us,” said Miranda. “Now with this win we feel like we can be there for her too.”

Hairston claimed his prize at lottery headquarters in Raleigh Tuesday. After tax withholdings, he took home $141,501. He and his wife plan to put most of the money into savings, buy a new truck, and upgrade their wedding rings.

“Things like this don’t happen to us,” said Hairston. “It feels like our luck has really turned around.”

The Blazing 7’s game started this month with four top prizes of $200,000. Two top prizes were won in the game’s first week. Two more top prizes remain to be claimed.

Ticket sales from draw games and scratch-offs make it possible for the lottery to raise more than $650 million a year for education. For details on how $9.6 million in lottery funds made a difference in Catawba County last year, visit the “Impact” section of the lottery’s website.