A last-minute decision to purchase a lottery ticket paid off big for a North Carolina woman who won more than half-a-million dollars, lottery officials said.
Stephanie Israel, 39, of Guilford County, said she purchased a lottery ticket for the Carolina Cash 5 drawing online just four minutes before the lottery closed. The next morning, she woke up to an email saying she was the winner of $501,444.
"It was late at night, and I was lying in bed, and the spirit just told me to go online and buy one," Israel told the NC Education Lottery. "There was only four minutes left until the drawing."
Israel said seeing the before-tax winnings caused her to literally scream out in excitement.
"When I went in and saw it, I screamed for like 20 minutes," she said, per the report. "I think I scared my family a little bit.
Israel ultimately collected $356,147 at the lottery headquarters on Monday.
As for her winnings, Israel says she intends to invest in her family, which is "full of entrepreneurs," according to the NC Education Lottery.
"We are constantly thinking of new ideas for businesses," she said. "Our boys already have a landscaping business."
Tickets for the Cash 5 drawing are $1 each.