Two area residents won $400,000 playing the N.C. Education Lottery, lottery officials said this week in a news release.

Tawanda Bynum of Nashville and Darren Warren of Rocky Mount split the prize to receive $200,000 each and, after federal and state tax withholdings, the two each took home $142,021, the lottery officials said.

Bynum and Warren won as a result of having tried their luck by purchasing a $5 scratch-off ticket at the Sheetz convenience store just off the U.S. 64 interchange with N.C. 58 just outside Nashville, lottery officials said.

The two participated in a $35 million Blowout game, which was launched this month, and the two received their winnings at the statewide lottery headquarters in Raleigh, lottery officials said.

The Blowout game offered four $400,000 top prizes, the first of which went to Bynum and Warren, while the rest of the three $400,000 top prizes remain to be won, lottery officials said.

The statewide lottery started in 2006.

Ticket sales from scratch-off games enable the lottery to raise more than $900 million a year for education in North Carolina.

By law, the funds from the lottery pay for teachers’ salaries from kindergarten up to third grade, along with school construction, pre-kindergarten programs for at-risk 4-year-olds and college scholarships and financial aid based on need.

The lottery website said that in Nash County, in which the U.S. 64 at N.C. 58 Sheetz is located, education programs in the county received slightly more than $4.8 million in funds from the lottery in the fiscal year 2020.