High School Custodian Hits $444,739 Jackpot

A custodian at Smithfield Selma High School is a big prize winner in the NC Education Lottery.

Fausto Pacheco Almeida found out he won Friday’s Carolina Cash 5 jackpot by having his ticket scanned at a local store on Saturday. The Selma man thought his prize was $50,000 – until he got to lottery headquarters Monday and discovered he won nearly nine times that amount: $444,739.

NC Education LotteryAlmeida, a school custodian, said he’ll buy a house with his after-tax winnings of $307,982.

He bought his lucky ticket at the T-Mart on Buffalo Road in Smithfield, letting the computer Quick Pick his numbers at random. For selling the jackpot-winning ticket, the store is eligible for a $9,000 bonus.

Carolina Cash 5 has jackpots that start at $50,000 and grow unless one or more tickets match all five numbers in the nightly drawing. The odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 575,757.

Ticket sales make it possible for the lottery to earn on average more than $1.4 million a day for education.