NC woman who was a 911 operator for 3 decades wins $100,000 Powerball prize

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BRUNSWICK COUNTY, N.C. — On the morning of Sept. 3, Donna Graziose, of Leland, woke up to find an email letting her know that she was the winner of a $100,000 Powerball prize, according to an NC Education Lottery news release.

“We couldn’t believe it,” she recalled.

Graziose, a former 911 operator of 31 years, bought her $3 Power Play ticket for the Sept. 2 drawing through Online Play on the lottery’s website.

The morning after the drawing, she woke up early and checked her phone to find an email from the lottery notifying her of her win.

“It said I won but didn’t say the amount, so I thought, ‘I better check this out quick!’” Graziose said.

After looking up the numbers online and verifying her win, she woke her husband up to share the good news.

“But he didn’t believe me,” she laughed. “It was very exciting in the morning to wake up to that.”

Graziose’s lucky ticket matched the numbers of four white balls and the Powerball, beating odds of 1 in 900,000 to win a $50,000 prize.

Because she paid $1 more for Power Play, her prize doubled to $100,000 when the 2x multiplier was drawn.

She claimed her prize Monday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh. After required federal and state tax withholdings, she took home $70,751.

Graziose said she and her husband will use the prize money to “pay off our cars, and the rest will go into savings.”

No one won Saturday’s Powerball jackpot. The jackpot stands at $34 million as an annuity prize or $27.3 million cash for Wednesday’s drawing.

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