The $344.6 million Powerball jackpot has a winner in North Carolina

Ticket holder has 180 days to claim prize

By Michelle Lou, CNN
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RALEIGH, N.C. - The winning ticket for the $344.6 million Powerball jackpot on Saturday night was sold in North Carolina, according to the Powerball website.

The winning numbers were white balls 6, 15, 34, 45, 52, plus Powerball 8, and Power Play multiplier 2X.

The winner may choose between 30 graduated payments over 29 years that total $344.6 million or a lump sum payment of $223.3. million. These amounts are before taxes.

A stack of $100 bills totaling $344.6 million would be taller than the 1,063-foot Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Powerball website says.

The ticket was sold in a Carlie C's IGA grocery store in Hope Mills, just south of Fayetteville, the site says. The store is eligible for $50,000.

The ticket holder has 180 days to claim the prize. North Carolina does not allow winners to remain anonymous.

"This is a life-changing event and we're excited that someone in North Carolina won this jackpot," Mark Michalko, executive director of the N.C. Education Lottery, said in a statement.

"Our advice to the winner is to sign that ticket to establish your ownership of it and then secure it in a safe place. Then, take your time and put together a plan with the help of financial and legal advisers for how you would like to claim your prize."

This is the fifth time a Powerball jackpot winner has come from North Carolina, according to the N.C. Education Lottery.

Last month, a North Carolina mother won $1.3 million from a $1 Carolina Cash 5 lottery ticket.

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