Hickory couple wins big in lottery

A Hickory couple plans to pay off a mortgage, buy two cars and take a trip to Las Vegas after winning a $1 million instant prize in an N.C. Education Lottery game.

Rick and Mary Hollar purchased their winning ticket at Smoker Friendly on 29th Avenue in Hickory.

“It hasn’t sunk in,” Mary said. “Until I see it in my account, and it will be like ‘Wow, it’s real.’ We are going to enjoy life and be debt-free.”

Top-prize winners in the Cash Blowout game have the option of claiming their prize as a 20-year annuity, or as a lump sum. The Hollars chose a $600,000 lump sum, which has an after-tax value of $408,006.

Mary, an accountant for a local car dealership, scratched the Cash Blowout game ticket at home and immediately texted Rick to share the news.

“He couldn’t get through to me because my phone was blowing up,” Mary said. “The whole experience is just amazing. Now we’re going to get two new vehicles. He wants an FJ Cruiser and I’m looking at a Four Runner.

“We’re still going to work and everything else,” Mary continued. “We’re going to help friends and family and have a comfortable life.”

As of Tuesday, two $4 million prizes and five $1 million prizes remain to be claimed in the $4,000,000 Cash Blowout game.

Through June 30 of last year, Catawba County players won more than $67.4 million in lottery prizes.