NC Air Force veteran says winning half of $423,684 Cash 5 jackpot feels ‘surreal’

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FILE: $100 bills. (NEXSTAR)

WARREN COUNTY, N.C. — Paul Jones, of Warrenton, was scanning some old tickets on Tuesday when he checked his Cash 5 ticket and realized he won Monday’s $423,684 jackpot, according to an NC Education Lottery news release.

“I scanned the Cash 5 ticket, and you could have knocked me over with a feather,” Jones said. “It said, ‘Winner! Take ticket to lottery headquarters.’ And that was the surprise on the 1st.”

Jones, a retired Air Force Intelligence Specialist of 16 years, bought his winning Quick Pick ticket from the Everest Mart on U.S. 401 South in Warrenton.

“It still feels quite surreal,” he said. “I just could not believe that this fortune had befallen me. It’s just amazing.”

His ticket was one of two that matched all five numbers in the drawing.

The other half was won by Shirley Tucker in Greensboro.

“I think that that’s a wonderful thing,” said Jones on splitting the jackpot. “Hopefully, we’ll both enjoy the benefits of this surprise — at the end of this year, especially.”

Jones claimed his half of the jackpot, $211,842, at lottery headquarters in Raleigh on Friday.

After required federal and state tax withholdings, he took home $149,879.

“Really, I’m just going to use this money to pay off some bills and start off 2021 with hopefully a little bit better financial outlook,” Jones said.

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