Family gets a Christmas windfall

Jan. 04, 2013 @ 05:52 PM

Without knowing it at the time, Sherri Hoover's stepson gave her one of the best Christmas presents the Hoover family has ever received. 

Every year, Stepson Rob Hoover gives the family a scratch-off lottery ticket. In previous years, the largest payload was $5 or $10. 

This Christmas, however, Sherri's son Christopher Hoover scratched the ticket to reveal a $100,000 prize.

"We almost had a heart attack," Sherri said. "(Husband) Robbie almost did have a heart attack!" 

At first, they did not believe Christopher, until Robbie verified the earnings. 

We were jumping up and down, Sherri said. 

The ticket, a $5 Carolina Black scratch-off ticket, has already been turned in to the state lottery.

"It couldn't have come at a better time," Sherri said. "We've had a rough year because I haven't worked in a while, so we have bills that definitely need to be paid. We were able to pay my car off, which was the biggest thing." 

They also plan to help various charities and a few family members in need. 

Sherri said they also plan to help Rob and his fiancé Megan, who gave them the ticket. The two are getting married in September. Sherri plans to take the family on a cruise where the two can get married. 

According to the North Carolina Education Lottery, the odds of winning $100,000 are 1 in 860,000. There were only six $100,000 tickets printed in this game, which is game number 292 and began in June of 2012. As of Jan. 2, 2013, all six of those prizes were claimed. 

Some proceeds from the lottery benefit public education. According to the North Carolina Education Lottery, Union County has received $55,332,105 since the lottery began in 2006. The money goes toward teacher salaries in grades Kindergarten through third grade, construction, pre-kindergarten, scholarships and financial aid.