North Carolina

Woman who won $250,000 in NC lottery wants to help the homeless stay warm this winter

A North Carolina woman plans to use her jackpot lottery winnings to help those experiencing homelessness.

Jessie Ellzy stopped at a convenience store in Laurinburg on Saturday and bought a WIN IT ALL scratch-off lottery ticket for $5, according to the North Carolina Education Lottery.

When she scratched the ticket and saw she had won $250,000, she couldn’t believe it, the lottery says.

“I stared at it and thought, ‘That’s a lot of zeros,’” Ellzy said, according to the lottery. “I started jumping up and down and hugging my daughter.”

Ellzy told the lottery she plans to use the money to fulfill a dream of hers: helping the homeless.

As of 2018, there were 9,268 people experiencing homelessness in North Carolina, according to the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness.

And Ellzy wants to do her part to help.

“I told myself if I ever came into money, I’d pay it forward,” Ellzy said, according to the lottery. “There are so many people who are worse off than I am. I’m going to make sure the homeless where I live have what they need for winter. It’s been a dream of mine to do this, and now I can.”

She told the lottery she also plans to use some of the money to pay bills. After state and federal taxes, she got $176,876, the lottery reported.

There are still two top prizes of $250,000 left for the WIN IT ALL game, according to the lottery.

Related stories from Raleigh News & Observer

Bailey Aldridge is a reporter covering real-time news in North and South Carolina. She has a degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.