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news blog > article

Harnett County woman felt overwhelmed by ‘surreal’ $200,000 win

October 5, 2023 Posted by NC Lottery at 9:54 AM

Linda Benefiel of Fuquay-Varina said she will never forget the feeling of winning a $200,000 scratch-off prize.

“It was surreal and just overwhelming,” Benefiel said. “We’re still in awe.”

Benefiel said she got home from work Monday night after a long and stressful day and a Lightning 7’s scratch-off was waiting for her.

“My honey bought it for me,” Benefiel said. “He said for some reason that one stood out to him.”

Her partner bought the lucky $5 ticket from Chalybeate Store on U.S. 401 North in Fuquay-Varina. Benefiel said that once she started scratching and saw how much she won, she yelled at him to come look.

“He got so excited and said, ‘We won $200?’” she recalled. “I told him, ‘No, we won $200,000. Next thing I know we were both crying.”

Benefiel arrived at lottery headquarters Wednesday to claim her prize and, after required state and federal tax withholdings, took home $142,501.

“We decided we are going to pay off our mortgage,” she said. “It’s such a wonderful feeling.”

The Lightning 7’s game debuted in June with six $200,000 top prizes. Three $200,000 prizes remain to be claimed.

Ticket sales from scratch-off games make it possible for the lottery to raise $2.8 million a day on average for education. Harnett County received a $10 million state grant, with money raised by the lottery, to help build a new elementary school. For details on other ways money raised by the lottery made a difference in Harnett County last year, visit www.nclottery.com and click on the “Impact” section.


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10/11/2023 05:15 - Roger K.

Congratulations on your big win!

10/06/2023 06:26 - Joe S.

Congratulations from Charlotte! :)

10/06/2023 06:18 - Latandra V.

Congratulations! Enjoy being mortgage-free!

10/06/2023 03:26 - Gloria C.

Congratulations to both of you. Enjoy your winning.

10/05/2023 10:41 - Vivian p.

Congratulations to the both of you. No more mortgage, I know its going to be a great feeling for you both. Again Congratulations.

10/05/2023 08:40 - Althea M.


10/05/2023 06:42 - MICHAEL B.


10/05/2023 06:07 - Wendy W.

Congratulations!! I am always happy to see scratch off winners!??

10/05/2023 05:25 - Tatiana D.

Congratulations! I love reading winners stories. One day I will win too!

10/05/2023 03:58 - Sterling J.

Awesome. Congratulations!!

10/05/2023 02:58 - roberta n.

Congratulations to the both of you. I am so glad to see winners in the Fuquay-Varina area. I guess I will be visiting the Chalybeate store soon. I am so happy for you Linda.

10/05/2023 02:37 - Douglas H.

So happy for you both. Congratulations!!! Enjoy having no more house payment:-)

10/05/2023 11:55 - brenda b.

glad you won

10/05/2023 10:17 - DEMARIE T.

CONGRATS! How exciting!! Enjoy the mortgage free home!! My dream!

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