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December 19, 2015
For Doneezha Davis-Ruffin a $20 birthday gift from her mom turned into a $150,000 lottery win.
Davis-Ruffin is the first to win a top prize in the $500 Cash scratch-off game, and says it’s a “nice birthday and Christmas gift”. 

Her good luck came Wednesday when she made a stop at the Catawba Village BP on Mt. Holly-Huntersville road in Charlotte. She bought four $5 tickets using her birthday gift.

The retirement specialist says she’s used to working hard but sometimes it can be “disheartening”. When she scratched the ticket and found out she won three times her annual salary, she was “shocked I was in shock”.

Davis-Ruffin says she was so excited that she couldn’t sleep and got up at 3 a.m. Thursday to make the drive to Raleigh and claim her prize.

After required state and federal withholdings Davis-Ruffin took home $103,876.54. She says she plans to use the money to “start fresh.”

When $500 Cash began this month it featured four top prizes of $150,000. Three top prizes remain.
Ticket sales made it possible for the lottery to raise more than half a billion dollars for the state last year. For details on how over $352 million in lottery funds have made a difference in Mecklenburg County, click on the “Where the Money Goes” section of the lottery’s website.

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