Jess Nichols of Murphy said he will take his $200,000 in lottery winnings and invest in some real estate.

Nichols got a big return on a $5 investment on an Emerald Green 8s ticket bought at the Fastop Market on U.S 64 West in Murphy. He claimed the prize Wednesday at lottery headquarters and, after federal and state withholdings, took home, $141,501.

“It feels very good,” Nichols said. “It kind of hasn’t sunk in yet, to be honest with you.”

Nichols said he would pay some bills and then invest in real estate.

Emerald Green 8s tickets went on sale earlier this month with four top prizes of $200,000. Two top prizes of $200,000 remain.

More than $16 million in money raised by the lottery supported education programs in Cherokee County last year, including $15 million in school construction funds to help provide space for an Early College High School, Alternative High School, and a Career Academy. For details on how lottery funds have made a difference in all of North Carolina’s 100 counties, click on the “Impact” section of the lottery’s website.