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Couple celebrating 70th wedding anniversary win lottery jackpot

A North Carolina couple celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary said they will be able to take a cruise thanks to their Cash 5 lottery jackpot. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
A North Carolina couple celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary said they will be able to take a cruise thanks to their Cash 5 lottery jackpot. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 3 (UPI) -- A North Carolina couple said they will be able to celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary by going on a cruise thanks to a $768,862 lottery jackpot.

James and Maxine Hilliker of Lumberton told North Carolina Education Lottery officials they visit the Sun-Do Kwik Shop store in Lumberton together every Tuesday to play Cash 5.

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"We go to the same store every Tuesday," Maxine Hilliker said. "We always play the same numbers. I've been playing them for over 22 years in California, Florida and now North Carolina. We use my birthday, my husband's birthday, and the birthdays of my three sisters. We've never won anything big."

The Hillikers broke that streak last week. James Hilliker said he saw Monday morning that their numbers had come up, but he didn't tell Maxine until later in the morning, when he read the numbers aloud from the newspaper.

The couple said the money came at what was already a time of celebration.

"Our wedding anniversary is next week and today is my 90th birthday," James Hilliker said during the couple's trip to lottery headquarters to collect their prize. "I can't even believe this is real. I just can't believe it."

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The couple said they plan to treat themselves to an anniversary cruise with their winnings.

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