Lottery

SC woman treated herself to birthday gift that turned into $2 million jackpot, lottery says

North Carolina Education Lottery

A South Carolina woman was grocery shopping when she decided to treat herself to a birthday gift, and bought a Powerball ticket, the North Carolina Education Lottery said in a news release.

It was a very happy birthday for Margo Konopacke.

She bought a $3 ticket that was a winner and paid out a $2 million jackpot, according to the news release.

“It’s an incredible birthday gift,” the retired nurse from Travelers Rest said in the new release. “I still can’t believe it. Everything feels surreal.”

Konopacke was shopping at a Publix in Hendersonville, and was in her car about to leave the parking lot when she realized she had not bought a Powerball ticket, according to the news release.

“I wasn’t going to go back but then thought, ‘My birthday’s coming up, so what the heck? This will be a birthday present to myself,’ ” she said in the news release.

It was a wise decision.

The next morning her husband was the one to tell Konopacke she had the winning numbers, the N.C. Lottery said in the news release.

“When he told me I matched five numbers, I thought he was joking,” Konopacke said in the news release. “I slammed my hands down on the counter and said, ‘Let me see the ticket.’ Sure enough, I had five numbers.”

The S.C. woman made a trip to Raleigh Tuesday, her birthday, to pick up her winnings, which was $1,415,001 after state and federal taxes, according to the news release. N.C. Lottery said the odds of winning that jackpot was 1 in 11.7 million.

Konopacke told N.C. Lottery she’ll use her winnings “to do something special for her birthday,” and retirement planning, according to the news release.

Scratch-off tickets are by far the most popular lottery games in North Carolina. Here's the details on where they come from and how they are distributed in the state.

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Noah Feit is a Real Time reporter with The State and McClatchy Carolinas Regional Team. The award-winning journalist has worked for multiple newspapers since starting his career in 1999.
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