$1 million Powerball winner plans to keep job
By Kathy Chaffin and Noelle Edwards
CHINA GROVE ó Running an errand for one of her daughters paid off in a big way for Beth Prymock.
Her daughter, Kelly, called last Thursday night asking if she would pick up a loaf of bread so she could make her son a sandwich to take to school the next day. So Prymock went to nearby Crossroad Market. She bought the bread and two “Quick Pick” Powerball tickets for Saturday’s drawing.
Prymock was out of town over the weekend and didn’t go online to check the winning numbers until late Monday night. Though she didn’t have the correct Powerball number, the other five matched.
“I have five new favorite numbers: 1, 20, 37, 52 and 53,” she said. “I know those numbers by heart now.”
Prymock called Kelly, who only lives a half-mile away, at about 9 p.m. and told her the good news: she had won $200,000.
“She was disbelieving at first,” Prymock said, “and she came over, and we both looked at the computer.”
Too excited to sleep, 46-year-old Prymock said she went online again about 3 a.m. and read a news release announcing that someone was holding a $1 million ticket. That’s when she realized that by spending an extra dollar to select the Power Play option, she had won $200,000 times five ó $1 million.
“I was speechless,” she said. When she called Kelly back to tell her the even better news, “she kept telling me, ‘Mom, you have to breathe. You have to breathe.’ ”
The next morning, Prymock said she called her two other daughters, Jennifer of Midland and Tiffany of Concord, and her mother, Jeanette Bandriesen of Concord.
Kelly and her grandmother accompanied Prymock to Raleigh on Wednesday to claim the winnings. After taxes, she took home $680,000.
“My mom asked me while we were waiting for the check if I was going to buy anything special,” she said. “I said, ‘I do need a new pair of tennis shoes.’ ”
When she got back to Rowan County, Prymock took a photo that N.C. Education Lottery officials had taken of her holding a big $1 million check by the Crossroad convenience store to show Michelle Nelson, the lady who sold her the ticket.
Nelson said Prymock was quiet about it, just came in and said she wanted to show her something.
Store manager Tara Black said she started crying when she found out who the winner was. She said Prymock is “very deserving.”
A widow, Prymock’s husband, Richard, and her 10-year-old daughter, Megan, died after an automobile accident in Cabarrus County in 2001.
“We hadn’t been married but four months when the accident happened,” she said. “Two of my daughters were still in high school and one in middle school when that happened.”
One of her deceased husband’s four sons was also living with them at the time, she said.
As for her plans for the lottery winnings, Prymock said she hasn’t made any yet.
“I’m just going to take my time and figure it out,” she said. “You kind of fantasize about what would happen if you won and what you would do if you had the money …
“If you actually get it, you kind of forget about all the stuff you always thought. It’s like, ‘Wow, what am I really going to do with it?’ ”
For now, Prymock said she plans to continue in her job with a mental health program in Gold Hill. Her co-workers greeted her with balloons, crepe paper decorations, a “Congratulations” banner and flowers when she returned to work on Thursday.
“They were all just so happy for me,” she said.
A native of New York, Prymock’s family moved to Concord in 1979 when her father was transferred by IBM.
She earned an associate’s degree in medical office administration two years ago and said she may return to school to further her education. “It would be nice to go to school and not have to work full time also,” she said.
At some point when she decides where she wants to live, Prymock ó who has five grandchildren between the ages of 3 and 6 ó said she might also buy a house. She is renting now.
Prymock said she averages buying 10 lottery tickets a month and only recently starting paying an extra dollar per ticket for the Power Play option at the urging of a friend.
“It’s still kind of hard to believe,” she said of her winnings. “I just feel so blessed.”
Crossroad Market owner Ricardo Aguilera said his store on Lentz Road has never sold a lottery ticket that won anywhere near $1 million. Normally it’s just scratch-offs that win $1 or $10, he said.
Prymock said the most she has won before was $55 from a scratch-off ticket she purchased three years ago.
She is not the first person in the area to win $1 million in Powerball. In June 2006, Buddy Poplin of Granite Quarry won $1 million with a ticket he bought in Arthur Davis’ Eastside Kwik Stop in Granite Quarry.
In some states, the merchant who sold the winning ticket gets a cash prize as well. That’s not the case in North Carolina.
Aguilera said he’s disappointed by that. Store owners do get 7 cents for each dollar sold in lottery tickets, regardless of whether they are winners.
Aguilera said his business has gotten a boost from the news of Prymock’s winnings. Lots of new customers have come by looking for a little luck to rub off, he said.
Contact Kathy Chaffin at 704-797-4249.