RALEIGH — Saturday started as a normal weekend day for Denise McKenzie of Laurinburg until her hand started itching and she decided to try her luck with the lottery.
“Whenever my hand is itching, I go and buy a lottery ticket,” said McKenzie, a warehouse worker.
So McKenzie bought three $5 tickets in the Crossword Money Multiplier game at the Community Stop on U.S. 401 South in Laurinburg and went back to her home to see if her lucky feeling was right.
“She came in saying, ‘Help me, check my heart,’” said her husband, Addison. “‘Check my heart. My heart is beating real hard.’ Then she showed me her ticket.”
Her ticket had one of the eight $100,000 top prizes in the game. After state and federal tax withholdings, McKenzie took home $69,251. She said she planned to use some of the money to pay bills.
“I can’t explain it,” McKenzie said as she claimed her prize Monday. “It feels good. I just kept trying. I guess it paid off.”
Five top prizes remain to be claimed in the game. Ticket sales from instant games helped to raise more than half a billion dollars for the state last year.