Carteret County man wins $150,000 on his favorite scratch-off game – OBX Today

(NC Education Lottery)

A love of crossword puzzle scratch-offs led Charlie Crooms of Beaufort to a $150,000 lottery win.

“Those are the only games I play,” he said. “I always liked the crosswords because they’re just fun.” Crooms bought his lucky $5 Power Cashword ticket from the Speedway on Live Oak Street in Beaufort. “I knew I won something but I actually didn’t even know how much,” he laughed. Crooms said he wants to celebrate his big win with his family.

“I want to get the whole family together and take them out,” Crooms said. “And it’ll all be on me.”

He arrived Monday at lottery headquarters to claim his prize and, after required tax withholdings, took home $107,251. The Power Cashword game debuted in October with six $150,000 top prizes. Three $150,000 prizes remain to be claimed.

Carteret County received $14.9 million in grants, using money raised by the lottery, to help with school construction. For details on other ways Carteret County education programs benefit from lottery funds, visit and click on the “Impact” section.