'They deserve it': Harnett County lottery winner says he'll give $200k winnings to his parents

BROADWAY, N.C. (WTVD) -- A Harnett County man got a huge surprise when he tried his luck at the lottery on his way home from work.

According to a news release from NC Lottery, Ismael Jimenez was driving home from his warehouse job in Sanford when he bought a $5 ticket at a gas station.

"I thought it was too good to be true," Jimenez told NC Lottery. He told lottery officials he actually thought he was dreaming--he went to sleep and checked to see if the ticket still had the prize on it in the morning.

Once he confirmed his winnings, he cashed in his $200,000 ticket, taking home just over $140,000.

An easy way to increase your odds of hitting it big on scratch-off lottery tickets

Jimenez told NC Lottery he plans to give the money to his parents, who always looked out for him.

"I'm going to give it to my parents," said Jimenez. "They have been through a lot. I feel like they deserve it. They can pay off their house, fix up their cars, and take care of bills they might have."

According to NC Lottery, ticket sales help the lottery raise more than $900 million annually for education.

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