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Bartender is a big fan of pi — and it paid off with a North Carolina lottery jackpot

By Simone Jasper

A 64-year-old bartender loves pi — and it led him to score a jackpot win in North Carolina.

“I’ve always been an extremely big math person,” Jonathan Ruby told the N.C. Education Lottery. “I picked my numbers based on pi.”

It isn’t the first time Ruby said he was drawn to the ratio — which starts with the decimal places 3.1415.

“I kept seeing that number so my karma told me to use it,” Ruby said in a news release. “I even lived at a 314 address as a child.”

Officials said Ruby’s passion for math paid off with a $192,941 win. He collected his prize on May 9, just in the nick of time.

In North Carolina, lottery winners have about six months to come forward. Ruby hit the jackpot at the end of November, meaning he had until later this month to claim his winnings.

Ruby’s lucky moment came after he stopped at a Han-Dee Hugo’s convenience store on Hillsborough Street in Raleigh. That’s where officials said he spent $1 on a ticket for the Cash 5 game.

“I thought I won a dollar or two,” Ruby told the N.C. Education Lottery. “I was calm until I got home and checked the numbers and then I got very excited.”

It turns out, the numbers in the Nov. 28 drawing were similar to the first decimal places of pi: 3-14-15-31-41. Ruby was one of three players to share the $578,823 prize.

After paying taxes and splitting the jackpot, Ruby kept $137,012. Officials said he plans to put money toward bills and retirement savings.


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