Ila Patel, a resident of Laurinburg, is the most recent North Carolinian to win $100,000 playing the lottery’s Ultimate Crossword game.
She was in Holly Springs to visit her daughter when she stopped at the Quality Food Mart on North Main Street and tried her luck on a $5 ticket. An occasional lottery player, Patel knew she had won a prize, but wasn’t sure how much. At the lottery’s claim center in Raleigh she found out: The prize was worth $100,000.
“I could not believe it,” Patel recalled. “I guess I am a winner,” she said at the time.
Patel said that her after-tax winnings of $69,201 would allow her to help pay for her daughter’s college education and donate to the temple to which she belongs.
Patel’s win marks the fifth and final top prize of $100,000 awarded in the Ultimate Crossword game. It started in December of last year with five top prizes.
Ticket sales have made it possible for the lottery to raise more than $3.3 billion for the state. Net proceeds are used for prekindergarten programs for at-risk four-year-olds, teachers’ salaries in grades K-3, school construction, digital learning initiatives, need-based college scholarships and financial aid.
For details on how more than $15.2 million in lottery funds have made a difference in Scotland County, click on the “Where the Money Goes” tab on the lottery’s website.