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November 29, 2016

A machine operator from Leicester says he can get the 4-wheel-drive truck he has always wanted, thanks to winning a $145,464 Cash 5 jackpot.

Just two days after his birthday, Jonathan Smith was on his way home from work. He stopped for dog food at the Ingles Market on New Leicester Highway in Asheville. At check-out, he got $5 cash back and used it to buy tickets from the lottery vending machine in the store.

“I got a single Cash 5, another single Cash 5, a $2 Powerball ticket, and one more single Cash 5 ticket,” Smith recalled. “It was that last one that was the winner.”

Smith sought financial advice before claiming his winnings from the Nov. 23 drawing at lottery headquarters. He plans to save for retirement and has his eye on a 2017 TRD off-road Toyota Tacoma to replace the 1994 Ford Ranger he has been driving for 20 years.

“It’s a fresh start,” he said. “For a working-class guy like me, it’s enough to pay some bills off, and get that truck I always wanted and thought I deserved.”

Smith said the windfall could not have come at a better time.

“I’m so happy, I’m just thankful,” he added. “It’s going to be a good Christmas for the family.”

Ticket sales make it possible for the lottery to raise more than half a billion dollars a year for education. To discover how the funds support specific programs in every county, visit and click on the “For Education” page.

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