The secret is out, as we now know a group of eight FedEx workers in Hope Mills, were the mystery winners of a $2 million Powerball jackpot Monday night.
The “Purple 8” have been buying Powerball tickets together three years ago, and their luck finally came through, as their $3 ticket bought at the Harris Teeter on Raeford Rd. was the biggest winner in the country. They all work together at FedEx Freight in Hope Mills.
They hit all five white balls in Monday’s drawing, worth $1 million, and had the Power Play activated to double the prize to $2 million.
“I’ve been having dreams lately about the winning ticket being sold in Fayetteville,” Michael Walker of Raeford, a spokesman for the group, said. “So I bought at least one ticket in Fayetteville for each drawing.”
The eight winners were: Walker, Robert Peterson III of Fayetteville, Phillip Freeman of Rowland, Derick Hunt of Lumberton, John Oxendine of Lumberton, Catherine Simpson of Raeford, Tharp Bordeaux of Elizabethtown, and Mickey Sessoms of Marston.
The group claimed their prize Thursday at North Carolina Education Lottery headquarters, and they each won $250,000 after it was divided up. They’ll each take home $177,525 after federal and state taxes were withheld.
“It was a shock,” Walker said. “My girlfriend ran into the backyard screaming and yelling.”
There was finally one BIG national winner Wednesday night, as someone hit the full $473 million jackpot in Arizona. The next drawing on Saturday will be worth $20 million.
Powerball is one of four lottery games in Hope Mills and North Carolina where players have the option of buying their tickets at a retail location or with Online Play through the lottery’s website or with the NC Lottery Official Mobile App. The other games are Mega Millions, Lucky For Life, and Carolina Cash 5.
Ticket sales from draw games like Powerball make it possible for the lottery to raise more than $900 million per year for education. For details on how money raised by the lottery made a difference in Bladen, Cumberland, Hoke, Richmond and Robeson counties in 2021, visit www.nclottery.com and click on the “Impact” section.