Convinced it wasn’t real, NC man waited overnight to see if lottery win was still there

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A North Carolina man was in such a state of disbelief after winning the lottery that he went to bed.

His plan, lottery officials said, was to “see if his ticket still had a prize on it in the morning.”

It did — making Ismael Jimenez the ninth winner of the $200,000 top prize in the Mega Bucks game, the NC Education Lottery said in a news release. Jimenez, who took home $141,501 after taxes, said he feels “blessed” and plans to give the winnings to his parents.

“They have been through a lot. I feel like they deserve it,” he said. “They can pay off their house, fix up their cars, and take care of bills they might have.”

Jimenez is from Broadway, a small town just outside Sanford in Eastern North Carolina.

According to the N.C. Education Lottery, he works at a warehouse in Sanford and bought the $5 scratch-off while getting gas on his way home at the Save More on South Horner Boulevard.

“I thought it was too good to be true,” Jimenez said of seeing the winning numbers.

He didn’t actually believe he won until he slept on it, checked the ticket again on Saturday, and had his parents confirm it, officials said.

Jimenez had a 1-in-1.02 million chance of winning the top prize in the Mega Bucks game, which launched with 10 top prizes of $200,000. Only one remains.

Dozens of smaller prizes of $2,000, $500 and $150 have yet to be claimed, according to the lottery website.

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