RALEIGH – A group of eight FedEx workers teamed up several years ago with hopes of winning a big lottery prize, and their dreams came true Monday when they won $2 million in the Powerball drawing.
“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.”
Walker’s dreams became a reality as the group’s winning ticket came from the Harris Teeter on Raeford Road in Fayetteville.
“It was a shock,” Walker said. “My girlfriend ran into the backyard screaming and yelling.”
Walker said The Purple 8 team started playing together about three years ago. The members work together at FedEx Freight in Hope Mills. They live in Cumberland, Robeson, Hoke, Bladen, and Richmond counties.
The winning $3 Power Play ticket matched numbers on all five white balls in Monday’s drawing to win $1 million. The Power Play doubled the prize to $2 million.
The group claimed the prize Thursday at lottery headquarters, splitting the $2 million prize eight ways. Each member of The Purple 8 team received $250,000 and, after required federal and state tax withholdings, each took home $177,525.
Besides Walker, the winners were 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 recent Powerball roll ended Wednesday night after a ticket in Arizona hit the $473 million jackpot. Saturday’s Powerball drawing offers a $20 million jackpot, or $12 million in cash. The odds of winning a Powerball jackpot are 1 in 292 million.
Powerball is one of four lottery games in 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.