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Alamance County woman finds lost ticket just in time to claim half-million jackpot

February 17, 2022 Posted by NC Lottery at 9:58 AM
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A half-million dollar lottery ticket, lost for over five months, resurfaced Tuesday so that the owner, Ana Maya of Graham, could claim her Cash 5 jackpot just before the $532,234 ticket expired.

Maya, a 32-year-old customer service worker, bought her lucky Quick Pick ticket for the Sep. 6 Cash 5 drawing. Winners have 180 days to claim their prize before it expires.

Maya said she was in the process of moving to a new house when she won, so she packed the winning ticket in one of her moving boxes. When she started unpacking, the half-million dollar ticket was missing.

“These last couple of months have been very stressful trying to find it,” Maya said. “I totally forgot where I put it.”

As Maya searched, time was running out. The ticket was scheduled to expire on March 6. She finally found the ticket on Tuesday in one of her old notebooks from high school. She said she must have put it in there for safekeeping.

“I was very, very relieved when I finally found it,” Maya said. “That was the last place I would have looked.”

Maya purchased the lucky ticket from Huff’s Interstate on Maple Avenue in Burlington. She claimed her prize Wednesday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh and took home $346,005.

She said she wants to set some money aside for her two small children, pay some bills, invest some, and take a nice vacation.

Cash 5 is one of four lottery games in North Carolina where players have the option of buying their tickets through Online Play, either through the lottery’s website or with the NC Lottery Official Mobile App. Cash 5 tickets are $1 and drawings are held every night. Thursday’s jackpot is $464,000.


16 COMMENTS

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2/21/2022 07:57 - justin p.

How many entries are there in the second chance drawings currently. Thanks so much

2/21/2022 11:10 - justin p.

Just curious can I find out the amount of entires for C.Cash- the Corvette- Big Spin- and the times the cash. Thanks and appreciate it!NC Lottery
Hi, Justin! As of our most recent reports, our Colossal Cash second chance drawing has 3,346,102 entries, Corvette and Cash has 1,196,999 entries, The Bigger Spin second chance has 1,194,390 entries, and our Multiply The Cash drawing has 4,217,435 entries. Good luck!

2/19/2022 11:13 - shirley b.

4444 5555 8888 have never been out in N C. Don't you think it is about time?

2/18/2022 10:35 - Alton T.

Paul Bray Jr. of Reidsville won $1 million prize.Playing Big Cash Payout He chose the lump-sum amount of $600,000 he took home $426,063 after taxes my question what happen to the 400,000 he didnt get? thanksNC Lottery
Hi there, Alton! That $400,000 would account for the interest accrued over the 20 years of payments if the winner chose the annuity option. The additional out of the $600,000 is from federal and state tax withholding. Hope this helps!

2/18/2022 02:19 - William D.

We have more top prizes on the Millionaire Maker, how many more 2nd chance drawings will be added? Be nice to have a drawing now and surprise us with more!!!!!!NC Lottery
Hi, William! We're excited to offer more top prizes for Millionaire Maker, thanks to a recent re-order of those tickets. At this time, we are not offering additional second chance drawings, but we could in the future. We'll post them on our website if we do!

2/18/2022 11:20 - cenque j.

Why can't we play double play online???NC Lottery
Hi, Cenque, thanks for your comment! At this time, our site does not allow for the purchase of Double Play with Cash 5, but we have heard many players say this is something they are interested in and we hope to be able to offer that one day in the future!

2/18/2022 10:14 - William A.

A winner is a winner. There should be no expiration.NC Lottery
Hey there, William! While that would be ideal in a perfect world, sometimes tickets are lost and never found or destroyed and those prizes would be unclaimed indefinitely. By having deadlines to claim prizes, this ensures that if that happens, the unclaimed prize money will be used - 50% goes to the education fund, and 50% goes back to players in the form of prizes for other games. Hope this helps to explain things!

2/18/2022 07:03 - tina j.

Congratulations on your winnings and finding your ticket

2/18/2022 01:23 - Gloria C.

Congratulations to you and your family. Thank God you found your ticket right on time .

2/17/2022 09:36 - Randy R.

Is there ever going to be a colossal cash 2nd chance drawing?? If so, when?NC Lottery
Hi, Randy! You ask a great question. Our Colossal Cash Second Chance drawing date is still TBD as there is still one top prize left and other large prizes left, and we want to give as many players the chance to play and win, as well as enter the Second Chance drawing, as possible. As soon as we know the date of the drawing, the site will be updated to show it!

2/17/2022 07:42 - Kwana M.

WOW! I'm so glad she found that ticket. Congratulations ??

2/17/2022 07:03 - doug c.

I would love to see a map with a pin stuck in it for location of every win ! There’s far far more wins from I-95 west than any other area.

2/17/2022 04:28 - Daniel J.

Happy for her that she found the ticket in time. A similar thing happened to me with a exact pick 4 winning ticket. Found it in an old pile of losing tickets.

2/17/2022 03:59 - Inga J.

Wow what a story! Congrats and enjoy the blessing.

2/17/2022 03:29 - roberta n.

Congratulations on your win Anna. What a wonderful blessing.

2/17/2022 01:03 - Mary G.

Oh my gosh! Stressful? I would agree! A tiny slip of paper worth $346,005 lost? Glad she found it!

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