Winning $150,000 Lottery Ticket Sold In Johnston County

Jessica Rodriguez of Zebulon says a $150,000 lottery win means she can pay off her student loans, pay off her car loan, and help her family.

Rodriguez claimed the prize Monday and said her good luck happened when she stopped at the Family Fare / Speedway on NC 42 West near I-40 in the Cleveland community in Johnston County while on a visit to see her parents. She said she bought a $5 Spicy Hot Crossword ticket and played the game later at her parents’ house.

“It was just shocking” said Rodriguez, an East Carolina University graduate. “We were at a loss for words.”

Rodriguez, who travels the state doing outreach work for a nonprofit providing healthcare to farmworkers, said she often tries her luck when she stops for breaks during her trips. “It’s fun to play, but I really did not ever think I would win this much,” she said.

After federal and state withholdings, Rodriguez received $106,126. She said she might use some of the money for a vacation to Mexico.

Rodriguez claimed the last of four $150,000 top prizes in the game. Since all top prizes have been won, the lottery will take steps to end the game.