Like many longtime lottery players, Tony Rawls has adjusted to local coronavirus lockdowns by purchasing his tickets online rather than a retail location—And the decision paid off big time, with the North Carolina man winning a huge $375K jackpot in the online lottery.

And on April 3, the real estate broker from Colerain, North Carolina turned a late night lotto splurge into a life changing jackpot score.

Lotto Regulars Appreciate Convenience of Online Play

Rawls took advantage of the North Carolina Education Lottery’s online ticket option to buy a few $1 tickets for that night’s Carolina Cash 5 drawing. Eight hours later, an email notification woke him up with the good news – Rawls had beaten the odds to win the jackpot payout of $375,990.

In an interview with Lottery officials, Rawls recounted the moment he learned about the unexpected windfall:

“It said we hit the jackpot.

Of course, it’s 4 o’clock in the morning and you’re not wide awake, and I woke up my wife and I said, ‘Come here and look and see if you’re seeing the same thing I’m seeing.”

Rawls also explained why he and his wife Jolene have embraced the lotto’s Online Play option:

“I like the account part and I like being notified.

I don’t have to check my ticket.”

I like the account part and I like being notified.
I don’t have to check my ticket.
Tony Rawls, Carolina Cash Winner

The winning ticket held numbers of 12, 14, 27, 28, and 40 from the 1-43 range used in Carolina Cash 5 drawings. Rawls matched all five numbers perfectly to bag the six-figure jackpot, beating odds of 1 in 962,598 in the process.

Typically, winners of a jackpot in excess of $100,000 would be required to visit Lottery headquarters to claim their prize in person. But because North Carolina still has a statewide “stay at home” order in effect to prevent the spread of coronavirus, lotto officials are allowing winners to accept electronic payments instead.

Rawls and his wife opted to stay at home and collect their cash using their Online Play account. After paying federal and state taxes on the jackpot amount, the couple pocketed $266,027.

The North Carolina Education Lottery offers Online Play for its Carolina Cash 5, Lucky For Life, Mega Millions, and Powerball drawings.

north carolina man wins online lottery

Online lottery—A convenient, socially distant way to play the lottery.

Winner Plans an Early Retirement; Hopes Lotto Luck Strikes Twice

Asked how the online lottery jackpot win will change his life in North Carolina, Rawls told the Lottery that he and his wife will invest towards an early retirement:

“It’s life-altering.

It puts a different perspective on our retirement plan.

It just makes it a little bit better.”

Rawls also revealed that at least a few dollars will be spent chasing a second jackpot:

“We’re going to continue to play.

I like the lottery and I like the Cash 5.”

Due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, lotto fans like Rawls are increasingly looking to online ticket sales in lieu of visiting convenience stores and other retail locations.

Last month, Ryan Hoyle of Greater Manchester, England parlayed a $2.50 online ticket in the EuroMillions drawing into a massive jackpot of more than $58 million.

To do so, Hoyle beat astronomical odds of 1 in 139,838,160.

Jonathan Zaun

One of Gamble Online's first dedicated reporters, Jonathan has spent well over a decade reporting on the gaming industry. While breaking legal news is his main area of expertise, Jonathan is an avid blackjack player & strategist who follows professional poker closely.

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