Late brother’s birthday date wins woman $100,000

Published 5:10 pm Friday, March 25, 2022

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RALEIGH – Teresa Ellis of Washington said she hadn’t played Powerball in years but she bought a ticket to honor her brother, who passed away in December, and won a $100,000 prize.

“It makes me feel like he’s watching over us,” Ellis said.

Ellis said it has been at least six or seven years since she bought a Powerball ticket, but she decided to buy one on Monday because her brother used to love to play Powerball. She said she wanted to use his birthday number, 16, to pay tribute to him.

“It feels like this is what he had planned for me,” Ellis said. “It’s kind of surreal.”

Ellis, a 42-year-old restaurant manager, bought a $3 Power Play ticket for Monday’s drawing. She matched the numbers on four white balls and the Powerball to win $50,000. Her prize doubled to $100,000 when the 2X multiplier hit. The number 16 helped produce Ellis’ win, coming up in the drawing as the number for the red Powerball.

She purchased her ticket from the Speedway on John Small Avenue in Washington. She claimed her prize Tuesday at lottery headquarters and, after required federal and state tax withholdings, took home $71,011.

Ellis said she is going to use the money to pay bills and put some in savings for her two children.