Digital lottery surprise: Cary woman wins $736,874 jackpot by mistake

An error turned into a big win!

Digital lottery surprise: Cary woman wins $736,874 jackpot by mistake

If you ever make a mistake in life, you can only hope it works out the way it did for this North Carolina woman!

Making accidental lottery purchases

Cynthia Harris of Cary was playing a new digital instant game from the North Carolina Lottery when she had a life-changing moment take place and she didn't even know what was happening at first.

She told Lottery officials:

I thought I was playing on demo mode.

Harris was definitely not in demo mode when she won $736,874 playing Bison Bonanza, a digital instant game featuring a progressive jackpot that can be won at any time. That time came on Monday morning when Harris was playing the game.

'Still hasn't set in yet'

Harris was playing a $2 ticket when she hit the top-level 'Epic jackpot' prize. The odds of winning the 'Epic jackpot' are 1 in 15.5 million. She recalled:

I was like, “Wait how did this just happen.” It still hasn’t set in yet.

Largest digital win in North Carolina Lottery history

The North Carolina Lottery began offering digital instant games in November 2023. This $736,874 jackpot win by Harris is the largest digital instant win since the state began offering digital instant games. Harris said:

I am a blessed person.

Digital instant games are played exclusively online on the North Carolina Lottery's website or on their official app Currently, there are 21 different games available to play online.

One of those 21 games happens to be Bison Bonanza, which Harris won on. For this game, a player can play from 50 cents up to $30. After Harris' big win, the jackpot restarted at $50,000.

Plans for her winnings

Harris didn't waste any time on claiming her prize. She headed to the North Carolina Lottery Headquarters on Monday in Raleigh. After the Lottery took out required federal and state tax withholdings, she took home $526,866.

Harris said she plans on using that money to help take care of her mother.

New game joining the Progressive Jackpot

With Harris hitting that progressive jackpot on Bison Bonanza, the North Carolina Lottery wanted to promote a new game being added to the Progressive Jackpot family.

The new digital instant game is called Wheel of Bonuses, which is now the second digital instant game where you can win Progressive Jackpot prizes that grow bigger and bigger with every Wheel of Bonuses and Bison Bonanza ticket sold.

For these digital instant games with the Progressive Jackpot, there are three jackpot levels that keep growing until someone hits it, and then it resets. Each level can be won by itself while the other levels will continue to grow. The levels are:

  • Big Jackpot: Starts at $300.
  • Major Jackpot: Starts at $5,000.
  • Epic Jackpot: $50,000.

Players have the option of choosing how much they want to wager, which ranges from 50 cents up to $30. There are a couple of ways to win on Wheel of Bonuses:

  • Discover six wheel slices to start the Bonus Wheel spinning and
  • Reveal a cluster of three or more matching symbols to win a prize.

Wheel of Bonuses is now the 21st digital instant game offered on the North Carolina Lottery website.

Enjoy playing the North Carolina Lottery, and please remember to play responsibly.


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