Craig Bennett of Reidsville said lucky numbers connected to important dates in his life produced a $150,000 Powerball win.

“They all had relevance to me,” said Bennett. “… It was really weird.”

For example, one number, he said, was No. 3 that stood for March, the month he was born. A second, No. 47, stood for his age when he get his new job. And a third, No. 64, matched the year he was born.

Bennett’s $3 Power Play ticket matched numbers on four of the white balls and the Powerball to win $50,000 in the Dec. 14 drawing. His prize tripled when the 3X multiplier was drawn.

Bennett, a cleaning supplies salesman, bought his lucky Quick Pick ticket at the Great Stops on North Church Street in Greensboro while driving home from work. He first stowed the ticket in a John Grisham novel until he discovered his win the day after the drawing. Then he bought a safe to keep his $150,000 ticket secure and sought the advice of a financial adviser.

“When I buy a lottery ticket, I, like everyone else, think about what I’d do with all that money,” said Bennett. After the required federal and state withholdings, he received a check for $106,126 when he claimed his prize Friday.

Bennett said he will pay off bills and take a “little vacation” somewhere. Then, he plans to help his twins pay for college.

His ticket beat odds of one in 913,129 and became the top Powerball prize won in North Carolina in the drawing. In all, 19,773 prizes were won in the state with prizes ranging from $4 to $150,000.

Saturday’s jackpot now stands at $277 million as an annuity or $188.4 million cash.

Ticket sales from draw games like Powerball make it possible for the lottery to raise more than $700 million a year for education. For details on how lottery funds made a difference in all of North Carolina’s 100 counties last year, click on the “Impact” section of the lottery’s website.