More than 2,500 people in North Carolina became prize winners overnight on a single Pick 4 game, according to lottery officials.
The winning numbers were 9-9-9-9 with the total number of prizes adding up to $9.2 million — “the most ever won in a single drawing in the game,” the North Carolina Education Lottery said in a news release Tuesday.
That combination of recurring digits is what’s known as a quad. It’s a popular number combination in the Pick 4 game, lottery officials said. The last record Pick 4 win was also on a quad with the numbers 0-0-0-0, which net $7.8 million in prizes on June 22, 2019.
Monday’s drawing had 2,574 winning tickets, according to the news release. The odds of winning were 1-in -10,000.
“The game’s top prize of $5,000 will go to players who hold one of the 1,303 winning $1 tickets purchased for the drawing. A $2,500 prize will go to players who hold one of the 1,095 winning 50 cent tickets,” officials said. Other players won smaller amounts.
Winners were lined up at claim centers across the state Tuesday, according to the news release.
“I was a little bit surprised,” Pauline Bordes of Bunnlevel told lottery officials at the claim center in Raleigh. “I play, but when it actually came I said, ‘Wow. It happened.’”
Bordes said she plans to use her $5,000 prize to pay some bills.
Another winner said her $2,500 prize money would go toward new tires for her car.
“It’s a good thing,” Brenda Todd of Durham told officials. “It’s very special during these times.”
The winners have 180 days to claim their prize and have been told to “expect extended waiting times to complete their claims if they choose to visit a regional office on Monday and Tuesday” because of safety measures necessitated by COVID-19.
Pick 4, in which players either pick their own numbers or let the lottery terminal generate a set of four random numbers for them, is the N.C. Education Lottery’s third-most popular game.
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Hayley Fowler is a reporter at The Charlotte Observer covering breaking and real-time news across North and South Carolina. She has a journalism degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and previously worked as a legal reporter in New York City before joining the Observer in 2019.