A North Carolina woman is thrilled today, after finding a winning lottery ticket she had lost 5 months ago.

A North Carolina woman is breathing a sigh of relief today, after she found a lost winning North Carolina Education Lottery Cash 5 lottery ticket, worth $532,234, after it had been missing since September.

Ana Maya of Graham is thanking her lucky stars that she happened to find the ticket just a few weeks before the March 6 expiration date.

“These last couple of months have been very stressful trying to find it,” Maya said. “I totally forgot where I put it.”

Maya, a 32-year-old customer service worker, bought her Quick Pick ticket on September 6 from Huff’s Interstate in Burlington. But she was in the process of moving when she hit the $532,234 jackpot. She had packed the ticket away for safe keeping, but apparently it was a little too safe.

Fortunately for Maya, as she unpacked more boxes from her move, she found the North Carolina Education Lottery ticket she had lost, Tuesday in an old notebook from high school. Right where she had placed it to keep it safe.

“I was very, very relieved when I finally found it,” Maya said. “That was the last place I would have looked.”

Maya plans to use the $346,005 she took home after state and federal taxes to put money aside for her two small kids, pay some bills, invest some, and take a well-deserved vacation.

Cash 5 is one of four lottery games in North Carolina where players have the option of buying their tickets through Online Play, either through the lottery’s website or with the NC Lottery Official Mobile App. Cash 5 tickets are $1 and drawings are held every night.

Hopefully Maya is able to manage that money well. Many North Carolina cities fall well short in national rankings when it comes to smart money habits. Here’s where nearly every city ranks:

Several North Carolina Cities Among Worst in Country For Money Management

  • No. 96 - Cary

    96th percentile, median credit score of 763

  • No. 288 - Morrisville

    89th percentile, median credit score of 744

  • No. 299 - Apex

    88th percentile, median credit score of 760

  • No. 329 - Chapel Hill

    Chapel Hill

    Chapel Hill

    87th percentile, median credit score of 758

  • No. 352 - Cornelius

    86th percentile, median credit score of 751

  • No. 390 - Holly Springs

    85th percentile, median credit score of 755

  • No. 416 - Waxhaw

    84th percentile, median credit score of 753

  • No. 732 - Hendersonville

    72nd percentile, median credit score of 733

  • No. 762 - Matthews

    70th percentile, median credit score of 742

  • No. 792 - Huntersville

    69th percentile, median credit score of 741

  • No. 811 - Clemmons

    68th percentile, median credit score of 758

  • No. 850 - Taylorsville

    67th percentile, median credit score of 693

  • No. 897 - Hillsborough

    65th percentile, median credit score of 749

  • No. 931 - Fuquay-Varina

    Fuquay-Varina

    Fuquay-Varina

    64th percentile, median credit score of 736

  • No. 937 - Albermarle

    64th percentile, median credit score of 671

  • No. 938 - Belmont

    64th percentile, median credit score of 722

  • No. 1068 - Indian Trail

    58th percentile, median credit score of 719

  • No. 1092 - Raleigh

    58th percentile, median credit score of 717

  • No. 1103 - Mount Airy

    57th percentile, median credit score of 673

  • No. 1116 - Wake Forest

    57th percentile, median credit score of 744

  • No. 1129 - Kannapolis

    56th percentile, median credit score of 662

  • No. 1133 - Lenoir

    56th percentile, median credit score of 662

  • No. 1164 - Newton

    55th percentile, median credit score of 678

  • No. 1205 - Morganton

    53rd percentile, median credit score of 674

  • No. 1208 - Hickory

    Hickory

    Hickory, NC

    53rd percentile, median credit score of 695

  • No. 1236 - Marion

    52nd percentile, median credit score of 663

  • No. 1244 - Kernersville

    52nd percentile, median credit score of 716

  • No. 1290 - Eden

    50th percentile, median credit score of 654

  • No. 1304 - Waynesville

    49th percentile, median credit score of 700

  • No. 1320 - Asheville

    49th percentile, median credit score of 722

  • No. 1338 - Durham

    48th percentile, median credit score of 705

  • No. 1366 - Leland

    47th percentile, median credit score of 728

  • No. 1368 - Oxford

    47th percentile, median credit score of 668

  • No. 1389 - Concord

    46th percentile, median credit score of 690

  • No. 1412 - Mocksville

    45th percentile, median credit score of 700

  • No. 1460 - Knightdale

    43rd percentile, median credit score of 682

  • No. 1473 - Conover

    43rd percentile, median credit score of 684

  • No. 1503 - Salisbury

    42nd percentile, median credit score of 671

  • No. 1506 - Wilmington

    Wilmington

    Wilmington, NC

    41st percentile, median credit score of 705

  • No. 1557 - Mooresville

    39th percentile, median credit score of 728

  • No. 1587 - Burlington

    38th percentile, median credit score of 673

  • No. 1596 - Wilson

    38th percentile, median credit score of 659

  • No. 1610 - Shelby

    37th percentile, median credit score of 659

  • No. 1627 - Winston-Salem

    37th percentile, median credit score of 675

  • No. 1632 - Charlotte

    37th percentile, median credit score of 678

  • No. 1637 - Asheboro

    36th percentile, median credit score of 675

  • No. 1658 - Winterville

    36th percentile, median credit score of 697

  • No. 1662 - Franklin

    35th percentile, median credit score of 715

  • No. 1672 - Gastonia

    35th percentile, median credit score of 660

  • No. 1682 - Graham

    35th percentile, median credit score of 681

  • No. 1686 - High Point

    34th percentile, median credit score of 674

  • No. 1696 - Lincolnton

    34th percentile, median credit score of 675

  • No. 1728 - Mebane

    33rd percentile, median credit score of 702

  • No. 1749 - Garner

    32nd percentile, median credit score of 693

  • No. 1763 - Thomasville

    31st percentile, median credit score of 667

  • No. 1765 - Greensboro

    Greensboro

    Greensboro, NC

    31st percentile, median credit score of 675

  • No. 1793 - Boone

    30th percentile, median credit score of 719

  • No. 1840 - Greenville

    28th percentile, median credit score of 661

  • No. 1881 - Statesville

    27th percentile, median credit score of 675

  • No. 1908 - Rockingham

    26th percentile, median credit score of 636

  • No. 1915 - Sanford

    26th percentile, median credit score of 676

  • No. 2004 - Kings Mountain

    22nd percentile, median credit score of 664

  • No. 2025 - Kinston

    21st percentile, median credit score of 633

  • No 2028 - New Bern

    21st percentile, median credit score of 700

  • No. 2038 - Rocky Mount

    21st percentile, median credit score of 656

  • No. 2057 - Washington

    20th percentile, median credit score of 674

  • No. 2096 - Monroe

    Monroe, NC

    Monroe, NC

    19th percentile, median credit score of 677

  • No. 2121 - Reidsville

    18th percentile, median credit score of 671

  • No. 2208 - Clinton

    14th percentile, median credit score of 650

  • No. 2257 - Lumberton

    12th percentile, median credit score of 638

  • No. 2291 - Clayton

    11th percentile, median credit score of 707

  • No. 2294 - Laurinburg

    11th percentile, median credit score of 635

  • No. 2299 - Roxboro

    11th percentile, median credit score of 666

  • No. 2307 - Lexington

    10th percentile, median credit score of 684

  • No. 2355 - Elizabeth City

    8th percentile, median credit score of 664

  • No. 2374 - Roanoke Rapids

    8th percentile, median credit score of 646

  • No. 2385 - Goldsboro

    7th percentile, median credit score of 659

  • No. 2419 - Henderson

    6th percentile, median credit score of 643

  • No. 2439 - Dunn

    5th percentile, median credit score of 658

  • No. 2503 - Fayetteville

    3rd percentile, median credit score of 662

  • No. 2546 - Hope Mills

    1st percentile, median credit score of 675

  • No. 2549 - Jacksonville

    1st percentile, median credit score of 668

  • No. 2571 - Raeford

    1st percentile, median credit score of 665

  • National No. 1 - Scarsdale, NY

    Scarsdale, NY

    Scarsdale, New York

    99th percentile, median credit score of 768

  • National No. 2 - Cupertino, Ca.

    99th percentile, median credit score of 776

  • National No. 3 - Los Altos, Ca.

    99th percentile, median credit score of 785

  • National No. 4 - Bronxville, NY

    99th percentile, median credit score of 765

  • National No. 5 - Saratoga, Ca.

    99th percentile, median credit score of 765

  • National No. 6 - Princeton, NJ

    Princeton, New Jersey

    Princeton, New Jersey

    99th percentile, median credit score of 765

  • National No. 7 - Mountain View, Ca.

    99th percentile, median credit score of 766

  • National No. 8 - Palo Alto, Ca.

    99th percentile, median credit score of 768

  • National No. 9 - Sunnyvale, Ca.

    99th percentile, median credit score of 762

  • National No. 10 - Lexington, Mass.

    99th percentile, median credit score of 782

Brandon Plotnick is a former sports journalist, now living in the digital space with interests all over the musical and pop culture map.