Gloria Wilson’s head is spinning after winning $200,000 playing the new Wheel of Fortune scratch-off.
“I just can’t believe it’s real,” said Wilson. “I’m in total shock.”
Wilson bought the lucky $5 ticket on Thursday at the Waves Mart on N.C. 24 in Newport. She was at home when she scratched to find she had won the top prize.
“When she saw she won, she didn’t talk for almost four days!” said Wilson’s longtime boyfriend, Melvin Stewart.
Wilson, retired after almost 34 years working at Purolator making oil filters, recently bought her dream home at the beach to enjoy her retirement. In the wake of Hurricane Florence, she almost thought her dream wouldn’t come true.
“This has been such a blessing,” she said. “It’s been a little scary, retiring and moving somewhere new. Having to worry if I would be able to pay the mortgage. Now I know everything will be O.K.”
Wilson became the first winner to claim the game’s $200,000 top prize on Monday. After required state and federal tax withholdings, she took home $141,501. She plans to use her winning to pay off her mortgage and save the rest.
“I can go to the beach and do what I meant to do,” said Wilson. “Which is to relax and enjoy life.”
Wheel of Fortune launched this month, with more than $13 million in prizes, including four top prizes of $200,000. Three more top prizes remain to be won.
Wheel of Fortune tickets can be entered into second-chance drawings to win a VIP trip for two to Los Angeles. Eight trips can be won, which include round-trip airfare to Los Angeles, four nights’ deluxe accommodations, a tour of Sony Studios, a bus tour of Hollywood, studio audience tickets for a taping of the Wheel of Fortune show, and tickets to a Big Money Spin Event where up to $1 million can be won.
Ticket sales from games like Wheel of Fortune make it possible for the lottery to raise more than $650 million a year for education.