CHARLOTTE, N.C. (News Release) — On Sunday evening, Eric Johnson of Charlotte was making a pizza run for his family of four when luck struck, topping off his large supreme with an unexpected surprise – a $291,249 Fast Play jackpot.
“I always see winners and think to myself, ‘Man they’ve got some good luck!’” said Johnson. “And now, you know, it was my turn for some luck!”
After placing his family’s pizza order, Johnson said he had some time and a little extra cash and stopped by Earp’s Express on Brighton Park Drive in Mint Hill. He purchased a scratch-off and with a little left over bought a $5 Money Bags Fast Play ticket.
“I was going to buy another scratch-off,” said Johnson. “But decided at the last minute to buy Money Bags.”
Little did he know, that split-second decision would pay off with a jackpot win.
Johnson said he thought he had won $1,000. But when he got home, his wife asked to take a look.
“It was a shock,” said Johnson recalling the moment. “When we saw what we had actually won, we both looked at each other and said, ‘Is this serious?’ She was smiling, and I was smiling.”
Johnson said the win couldn’t have come at a better time.
“I just started my own towing business,” said Johnson. “This is going to help. I am going to grow my business from it.”
Johnson claimed his prize Monday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh. After required federal and state tax withholdings, he took home $206,060.
Fast Play’s rolling, progressive jackpot increases with every ticket sold until it is won. Players can see if they have won and how much instantly. The odds of winning a Fast Play jackpot are 1 in 240,000.
Ticket sales from games like Fast Play make it possible for the lottery to raise more than $900 million per year for education. For details on how $60.5 million raised by the lottery made a difference in Mecklenburg County in 2020, visit www.nclottery.com and click on the “Impact” section.