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news blog > article

Brunswick County woman will use $1 million win to buy a new house

March 10, 2023 Posted by NC Lottery at 10:37 AM

Wendy Hester of Leland said she can fulfill her longtime dream of buying a house for her family after she won the first $1 million top prize in a new scratch-off game.

“This is a dream,” Hester said. “We can finally get our home.”

Hester bought her lucky $10 VIP Platinum ticket from Fairhaven Mini Mart on Walker Street Northeast in Leland.

“Something just told me to buy it, so I did,” she said. “It was just meant to be, I think.”

Hester took the ticket home and started scratching it.

“I just kept looking at it thinking, ‘This can’t be right,’” she recalled. “But it was right.”

Hester said she contacted her husband as soon as she realized she won.

“I called him and told him, ‘I just won a million dollars,’” she said.

When Hester arrived at lottery headquarters Thursday, she had a decision to make. She could choose to receive her prize as an annuity of $50,000 over 20 years or a lump sum of $600,000. She chose the lump-sum amount of $600,000 and, after required state and federal tax withholdings, took home $427,503. She said in addition to buying a home, she will pay off her car too.

“This is a godsend,” Hester said. “We really needed this.”

The VIP Platinum game debuted this month with five $1 million top prizes. Four $1 million prizes remain to be claimed.

The N.C. Education Lottery’s Play Smart™ program educates and empowers North Carolinians to make smart decisions when they play the lottery. March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month and the lottery highlights Play Smart to help ensure when North Carolinians play the lottery it doesn’t become more than a game. Visit nclottery.com/PlaySmart to learn how the Play Smart program helps someone create a game plan to keep lottery play fun. If you or someone you know needs support, visit morethanagame.nc.gov/ for free, confidential help.


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3/13/2023 02:43 - Monica S.

So what happens if the other prizes are not claimed do they take the tickets of the shelf or do they let them play out until the prizes are won ? Also im so happy for this lady and I am curious how far from the mountains are the winning tickets ?????????NC Lottery
Hi, Monica! When a game is ended with prizes remaining, half of unclaimed prize money goes to education—the good cause that the lottery serves. The other half is available to be used as prize money in other games and lottery promotions. And our scratch-offs are randomly distributed across the state - where a winning ticket ends up is a mystery until a lucky player scratches one off!

3/12/2023 02:26 - Robin B.

Congratulations to the winners !

3/12/2023 01:47 - Damian C.

Joseph r then why u buying scratch offs in the first place lmao I live in a small town biggest hit on a scratch off was 100000 winner that was while back I always find it funny when ppl complain and continue to buy ive been going straight down over 30 k now and only one time ive won was 650 one 20 dollar scratch I only buy rolls and u don’t see me complain

3/11/2023 02:25 - Anna B.


3/11/2023 10:59 - Joseph R.

I'm shocked to report within a day of me predicting jackpot tickets for "random" scratch-offs and Fastplays are 97% won in small towns of less than 40k, was won in a town of less than 1,000 people! I guess it could be "random" if the number of winners were proportional to the sample size of actual players; Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro should have a lot more jackpot winners statistically in a "randomized" sample distribution. After all, these cities are really the one's funding these jackpots!!NC Lottery
Hi Joseph, every lottery ticket has an equal chance at winning, regardless of where it was purchased. If you were to move to a big city, you'd have more neighbors; if you moved to a tiny town, you'd have less. But what everyone would have in common in all those places is that each individual would have the exact same chance of winning a lottery prize!

3/11/2023 09:43 - Ann J.

That’s awesome ?? congratulations

3/11/2023 09:30 - Joe S.

Congratulations from Charlotte! I, too, added a $10 VIP platinum ticket to my lottery portfolio for March. Will know at the end of the month if I have a winner.

3/11/2023 06:43 - carolyn b.

Hi Carolyn, the ticket that won the $1,120,665 jackpot was purchased in Smynra in Carteret County.

3/11/2023 12:29 - Paula F.

Congratulations Wendy

3/10/2023 10:59 - MICHAEL B.


3/10/2023 08:31 - Kristi S.

Congratulations to you Mrs. Hester. Since we can't use names, to the person who said something about not already having a home. EVERYONE IS NOT ABLE!!! You don't know how old she is and who cares. We're just happy she won. Buy your dream home Hun and enjoy!!

3/10/2023 08:01 - Linda S.

Enjoy your win!!!! Playing same numbers for years and can't win but two dollars!!!!! Lucky that you won in NC!!!!!

3/10/2023 07:47 - tracy t.


3/10/2023 06:39 - Katherine P.


3/10/2023 04:04 - NC Lottery

Hi there, @Donald S! The county is in the headline, but in the blog it says what town the winning ticket was sold in. Further, while we value all feedback and comments - positive or negative about us! - on our page, please refrain from attacking other players in the comments, this is in violation of our social media policies. Thanks!

3/10/2023 03:31 - Brent W.

Congratulations ???? My Dream as well, God is Listening.

3/10/2023 02:37 - DONALD S.

I’m happy for this couple. I don’t care how old they are. Praise God they were able to buy a house and do the smart thing with their money. I don’t know what world Joseph R. Lives in? Now everybody should know that the $10 VIP ticket just had $1 million so probably won’t be here for another month or so. As far as I am concerned, this is a ticket I will not be buying. The $10 100 times the cash hit $1 million the first day. That’s another ticket I won’t be buying for a while. When the win $1 million dollars gets hit on the first day or so of a new ticket, it takes about 30 days before it hits again I don’t think small towns have anything to do with it. What we should be concerned about is at the blog lady continue to use county because counties cover more area and that’s why she said Brunswick County instead of the small town where the actual scratch off was hit. Brunswick county is a lot larger than Wilmington. I think that is very dishonest to say the county instead of the town.

3/10/2023 02:20 - Sabrina D S.


3/10/2023 01:46 - Adam B.

How many total entries were submitted for the Cold Cash 50 Winners of $2,500 for the February drawing?NC Lottery
Hi, Adam! We received around 7,996,492 entries for our February Cold Cash monthly Lucke-Rewards drawing!

3/10/2023 01:34 - Mary H.

Congratulations :)

3/10/2023 01:04 - Anita A.

God is GOOD!!! Congratulations

3/10/2023 11:50 - Mary G.

Awesome! Congratulations! You listened to the "meant to be" voice and it was right!

3/10/2023 11:13 - Joseph R.

This great to hear and sad in the sense of not already having a home later in life and needing to win the lottery in order to purchase a home. As far as scratch-offs go, just doing a quick tally of big winners (Top Prize on ticket), A VERY large percentage of them come from small towns of less thank 40k population. Random distribution? I doubt it since I can say with confidence that the next Top Prize scratch-off winner will be from a town of less than 40k and will be on or near "Main Street"

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