News

Ocracoke Islander wins a big prize in Powerball

September 2013

By Connie Leinbach

 

Ocracoke Islander Valerie Mason was one of three North Carolinians who won $10,000 in the Aug. 8 Power­ball drawing. It was her biggest win in the years that she has been playing the game. She was happy for the win, she said, noting that didn’t watch the drawing that night but learned of her winning ticket while in the Hatteras ferry line the next day.

“I was taking my mom to an appointment and said I should check my ticket numbers,” she relates. “ ‘Oh my God, Mom,’ I said,” she continued about learning she had four of the winning numbers plus the Powerball. “ ‘I don’t know what it is.’ ”

But then she quickly looked it up on line and saw that she had won $10,000. While she was elated, she didn’t even call her husband, Kenny about it right away.

“If I would have won the $448 million, you would have heard me at the south ferry docks,” she said with a laugh.

While Mason purchased her ticket at the Beach­comber Camp Ground Gas Station, she said she usu­ally only plays the scratch-off games. When the Pow­erball jackpot gets big, she purchases those tickets, too. This time, she purchased the 10 for $20 option and had the machine pick the numbers.

“It’s pretty cool that someone here won some­thing big,” said Sean Death, manager of the camp­ground and gas station, who said Mason had called to relate the good news. “It was the buzz around the counter for a few days.”

He said he hasn’t noticed an uptick in lottery ticket sales, though.

“People say, ‘It’s only $30,000’ when it’s the lower numbers,” he said, “but they seem to come out of the woodwork when the jack­pot gets to $300 million and higher.”

Mason, who owns Village Print, the island print shop, said the prize winnings have already been desig­nated to pay for new equip­ment for her business.

As for the odds, Mason said that four tickets sold in North Carolina beat odds of one-to-648,976 to match four white balls and the red Powerball to win big priz­es. A $3 Power Play ticket worth $40,000 was sold in Davie County and other two tickets worth $10,000 each were sold in Greens­boro and Charlotte.

Mason said that after tax­es were taken out by the vari­ous states who do the Pow­erball, her actual take-home amount was around $5,900. Nevertheless, she is happy to represent Coastal North Carolina with her win.

“You don’t see many people on the coast win­ning these things,” she said. “It just seems seems like it’s good karma.”

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