North Carolina Lottery Winner Hit $736K Jackpot by Accident 

Often, accidentally clicking something online is a risky situation. Especially so while gambling, where money is involved. 

However, a woman from Cary, North Carolina, flipped that story this week. On Monday, May 13, Cynthia Harris thought she was investigating a free play version of a NC Education Lottery online instant play game. But she actually clicked onto the real money version.

Which ended up being a fortuitous mistake, as her very first $2 ticket hit the game’s $736,874 progressive jackpot. 

“I thought I was playing on Demo mode,” Harris told the NC Education Lottery after her win.

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

The Win

On Monday morning, Harris was checking out some North Carolina Education Lottery Games to see if she wanted to deposit any more than the $2 that was in her account.

She clicked on Bison Bonanza’s free play mode to give it a test play before putting down a new deposit. However, she actually went to the full real money game.

She mistakenly wagered what was in her account, only to immediately hit the game’s top jackpot: $736,874. The odds of that occurring were 1 in 15.15 million. 

After North Carolina state and federal taxes imposed on gambling winnings, Harris took home $526,866. She claimed the win at the Raleigh headquarters of the N.C. Lottery on the evening of the day she hit the winner. 

“I am a blessed person,” she told lottery officials. She said she intends to use her newfound wealth to pay for her mother’s care. 

Lucky Accidents 

$875,000 as a result of an accident is certainly a life-changing prize. But it’s far from the biggest accidental lottery jackpot win in the U.S. in recent years. 

In 2022, LaQuedra Edwards of Los Angeles, California, hit a $30-million scratch-off winner on a ticket she didn’t even intend to buy.

Edwards’ usual lottery play was to buy around $30 of lower price tickets at a time. However, that fateful day in November, her pattern was changed for her. As she was using the lottery ticket machine in her usual store, a random stranger bumped into her, accidentally pushing her into the button for a $30 200x Scratchers ticket purchase. 

Luckily for her, that $30 ticket turned out to be a $30 million winner. 

Another also hit earlier this year, when a couple from Maryland mistakenly bought two of the same numbered lottery tickets. And those numbers hit for two $1 million prizes.

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