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Ocean Isle Beach man matches words to win $150K lottery prize

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A love of crossword puzzles led Timothy Pope of Ocean Isle Beach to a $150,000 lottery win.
 
“I like playing the crossword tickets,” Pope said in a North Carolina Education Lottery news release issued Tuesday afternoon. “I feel like they’re more entertaining.”
 
Pope’s good luck happened when he bought a $5 Silver & Gold Crossword scratch-off ticket at the Clinton Express Mart on Libson Street in Clinton.
 
“I thought I’d only gotten nine words at first,” Pope said. “I thought, ‘Alright! $1,000 isn’t bad.’ When I checked the ticket again, I realized I matched all 10 words. I couldn’t believe it.”
 
Pope claimed his prize Tuesday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh. After required state and federal tax withholdings, he took home $104,253. He plans to use the money to pay bills and help pay for his children’s education.  
 
Silver & Gold Crossword launched in May with six top prizes of $150,000. Two top prizes remain.
 
Ticket sales from instant games like Silver & Gold Crossword make it possible for the lottery to raise more than $600 million a year for education. For details on how lottery funds have made an impact in Brunswick County, click on the “Impact” section of the lottery’s website, www.nclottery.com.