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Beginner’s Luck: First time lottery player from Newton wins $400,000

May 15, 2018 Posted by NC Lottery at 8:40 AM

Carlos Chavez of Newton says a quick decision to play the lottery for the first time won him a $400,000 Big Win lottery prize.


Chavez, who owns his own construction company, frequently travels around the state completing projects. On May 2, his work brought him to Durham, where he made a $400,000 decision to buy his first lottery ticket at the Croasdaile Family Fare on Hillandale Road.

“After work we stopped by the store,” said Chavez recalling the moment he bought the lucky $5 ticket. “I had never played the lottery before, but my friends were buying a few tickets, so I decided to buy one, too. I didn’t think anything of it. I just kept it in my wallet.”

Chavez didn’t scratch the ticket until two days later while he was in his hotel room in Durham. When he realized he was a big winner, he couldn’t believe it.

“I looked at the ticket,” said Chavez. “And I thought, ‘Lucky me!’”

 He claimed his prize Monday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh.  After required state and federal tax withholdings, he took home $282,005. He plans to use the money to pay bills and invest the rest in his business.

Big Win launched earlier this year with four top prizes of $400,000. One top prize remains to be claimed.


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8/01/2018 12:14 - Barbara N.

Happy for you !

5/24/2018 07:09 - Stephen M.

Why don’t u list winners by each game? NC Lottery
That's a great question, Stephen. We make an effort to share the big win stories on our blog and media pages, as well as a collection of the most recent $5,000+ scratch-off wins on the winners page. You can find the winners page at If you are looking for information on one specific scratch-off game, we recommend that you submit a public information request to and we would be happy to prepare a report for you.

5/24/2018 02:53 - Michael R.

One day

5/23/2018 12:56 - Esther C.

Oh, well that it explains it. Thanks for responding... (o:

5/22/2018 07:37 - Esther C.

Curious...what happened, again, to posting the city of a Cash 5 winner? Is someone on vacation????NC Lottery
Good morning Esther, Which Cash 5 winner are you referring to? The past two big winners both purchased their tickets online, so no city would be listed in the release. However, if there is a different winner that you are looking at that the city was omitted from, we would be happy to share that information.

5/22/2018 04:44 - William N.

Congratulations on players winning big. Still waiting on my turn and keep playing!

5/22/2018 10:39 - Gary C.

I uninstalled the APP and downloaded it today and installed it. The APP is working fine again. Congratulations to a first time player and winner.

5/21/2018 11:03 - Dennis H.

I am still getting unfortunately NC lottery has stopped. NC Lottery
Hey Dennis! We're sorry you are still having trouble with the app. Have you tried uninstalling and then reinstalling the app? If you have and are still having trouble getting access, please call our technical support team at 1-855-767-1863.

5/21/2018 10:27 - Deirdre H.

What a Blessing Congratulations. I pray I'm the next big winner!

5/21/2018 06:56 - LEONARD W.

I live in Durham so congrats to this guy but I have a comment about one of the winners listed on the winners page. I noticed a winner listed the place of purchase at Walmart I just never knew Walmart sold lottery tickets scratch or draw so when did Walmart start this and if so is it only in certain areas? Thanks....Leonard :) NC Lottery
Hi there, Leonard. We think our retailers are pretty great and are adding retailers every week! It's up to the specific location on if they sell tickets. You can find out where you can buy tickets at Walmarts across the state by typing in your zip code on our website here:

5/20/2018 10:11 - VICKEY G.

What about the thats being playing since the lottery start..but wins nothing.

5/19/2018 09:46 - Barbara W.

Awesome to hear!!

5/18/2018 10:59 - Johnnie W.

The website is still down. When will it be fixed? NC Lottery
Please do a hard refresh or clear you cache. The website should be working.

5/17/2018 06:40 - Jacquelyn I C.

Hi The uninstall worked.Android users go to your settings vs the play store.

5/17/2018 01:44 - Betty C.

Once again a store owner has won the second chance drawing.This is 4 times in less than a year.He puts on all of the tickets people discard so he can enter 1,000's of times.This is so unfair to the the other players.There is no way you can compete with that.

5/17/2018 12:54 - Denver G.

Any one having trouble with web site. Try clearing your web browser,shutting down your computer then rebooting it. That works for me. Take my advice, because,60% of the time I am right all the time.NC Lottery
Thanks, Denver!

5/17/2018 11:01 - Denver G.

I really don't understand the logic behind those kind of comments. Carlos looks brown to me and I congratulate him on his beginners luck.

5/17/2018 10:50 - Jo Ann S.

Hello: The lottery website has been down for days. I'm using my desktop and it says sorry for the inconvenience but temporary down. Do you know when it will be up. ThanksNC Lottery
We're sorry you're having trouble, Jo Ann. The desktop website should be working properly. If you are still getting an error, please try clearing your cache, that should fix it.

5/17/2018 09:01 - Maurice H.

Bless you!

5/17/2018 08:08 - Joshua L.

I had beginning luck when I played my first scratch off on Father’s Day years ago, I had $10 and I couldn’t pay for our Father’s Day dinner. I played the Star Trek $5 scratcher and won $75 first time playing.NC Lottery
That's awesome, Joshua! Sounds like a great Father's Day surprise. Thanks for sharing.

5/17/2018 12:24 - charles m.

That's how we know it's rigged For whites to win.

5/16/2018 06:28 - Jacquelyn I C.

Hi the check ticket icon is missingNC Lottery
Hey Jacki -- our web team has found a fix and are advising users to uninstall and then reinstall the mobile app. That should resolve any issues you are having. We're sorry for the inconvenience!

5/16/2018 10:43 - Troy B.

Any update in the app? Need to scan some tickets ?? NC Lottery
Hi Troy, Our web team is aware of an issue that is affecting some of our players access to the mobile app. They are working quickly to try and find a solution -- we apologize for the inconvenience!

5/16/2018 10:27 - Tatiana D.

Nothing big, but we do need the broken window replaced. If any money will be left after this, we'll buy a few things for the house. Thank you again! Very, very grateful and happy.

5/16/2018 09:18 - annie s.

Congratulations ! I am still waiting on my big win, I play a lot , because you have to be in it to win it, enjoy your winnings.

5/15/2018 10:12 - shannon r.

Please let me enter my tickets!! I'm over 100 behind thanks to me not being able to enter any tickets the last 2 days!!bery frustratedNC Lottery
Hey Shannon, We are very sorry for the continued inconvenience. We hope to have an update soon.

5/15/2018 03:39 - Troy B.

I see that the mobile app is down, do you have an estimated time for it to be corrected and back available?NC Lottery
Hey Troy, We're sorry for the inconvenience, but our web team is still working to resolve the issue. At this time, we don't have an estimated time frame to share yet. Thank you for your understanding!

5/15/2018 02:08 - Tatiana D.

Congratulations to the winner! I wanted to share that I won $500 Home Depot gift card in the latest second chance drawing. I had 110 entries. Thank you, NCEL! We are going to put this card to a good use. NC Lottery
That's great to hear, Tatiana. Congrats on the win! Do you have any big home improvement project planned?

5/15/2018 01:57 - Denver G.

Just the opposite here. I can't enter drawings on my desk top, but I can on my cell phone.NC Lottery
Thanks for the heads up, Denver. We will share this info with our web team. Please bear with us as we work to resolve the issue. Thank you!

5/15/2018 12:05 - joanie m.

I can not enter tickets is the web site downNC Lottery
Hey Joanie! Our mobile app is down at the moment. Our web team is working to quickly resolve the issue, but for now, please try to enter tickets on a desktop computer. Thank you for your patience and understanding!

5/15/2018 09:14 - Javier M.

congratulation,God bless! Felicidades Dios lo bendiga.

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