North Carolina math lover wins nearly $200K in lottery by playing first digits of pi

RALEIGH, N.C. — A North Carolina math lover’s fondness for pi helped him score a sweet victory in the state’s lottery.

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According to WRAL and WNCN, Jonathan Ruby, 64, of Raleigh, said his numbers for the Nov. 28 Cash 5 drawing came from the first digits of the mathematical concept – 3.1415. His ticket and two others matched the winning numbers of 3-14-15-31-41 to nab one-third of the $578,823 jackpot, the North Carolina Education Lottery said in a news release Tuesday.

“I’ve always been an extremely big math person,” Ruby, a bartender, said in a statement, adding that he “kept seeing that number” throughout his life.

“I even lived at a 314 address as a child,” he said, according to the lottery.

Ruby, who purchased his ticket at Han-Dee Hugo’s on Hillsborough Street, won $192,941 but ended up taking home $137,012 after tax withholdings, the lottery said. He plans to use his winnings to pay bills and contribute to his retirement savings, according to the news release.