Ana Maya, of Graham, N.C., said she found out her Cash 5 lottery ticket was a winner while she was in the process of moving and soon discovered she had forgotten where she put it. Maya was able to find the ticket in time to collect a $532,234 jackpot. File Photo by Robert Lessmann/Shutterstock
Feb. 17 (UPI) -- A North Carolina woman who won a $532,234 lottery jackpot said she lost the ticket while moving, and her months-long search ended just before the ticket was set to expire.
Ana Maya, 32, of Graham, told North Carolina Education Lottery officials she bought a Quick Pick ticket for the Sept. 6 Cash 5 drawing from Huff's Interstate in Burlington and learned she had won the jackpot while in the process of moving to a new home.
Maya said she started to panic when she was unpacking at her new residence and couldn't find the winning ticket.
"These last couple of months have been very stressful trying to find it," Maya said. "I totally forgot where I put it."
Maya said she finally found the ticket pressed between the pages of an old school notebook.
"I was very, very relieved when I finally found it," Maya said. "That was the last place I would have looked."
The winner found the ticket in time to collect her $532,234 jackpot before it would have expired March 6.
Maya said her plans for the winnings include taking a vacation, paying bills, making investments and putting money aside for her two young children.