Winning Ticket Worth $400K Nearly Ended Up In VA Lottery Player’s Laundry

Written By Dann Stupp on December 13, 2021
Laundry lottery ticket

A laundry lottery ticket that was bound for a lint trap instead scored a Virginia man nearly $400,000.

The Virginia Lottery recently announced a big winner for its Cash 5 with EZ Match game.

However, this is a lottery-winner story that almost wasn’t.

Thankfully, though, the Hampton man did a quick check before sending his winnings to the spin cycle.

The $387,450 laundry lottery ticket

Maricus “Bezo” Barnes purchased his winning ticket on Oct. 23. It was a Cash 5 with EZ Match ticket via the VA Lottery. He purchased the lucky laundry lottery ticket at a 7-Eleven location (8531 Orcutt Avenue) in Hampton.

Barnes opted for Easy Pick and allowed the computer to pick the numbers for him.

His numbers were 6-18-20-22-24. And he matched every one of them to win the Cash 5 jackpot.

But he almost didn’t realize it. He was doing laundry when he came across the ticket. As he told the VA Lottery:

“I was about to throw it away. But then I decided to check it because it might be worth a few bucks.”

More than a few bucks, it turned out. His total haul? A cool $387,450 before taxes.

So, just how unlikely was Barnes’ win? The US Army veteran and current shipyard worker had odds of 1 in 749,398 of winning the Cash 5 jackpot.

Playing Cash 5 at Virginia Lottery

Cash 5 is a Virginia-only jackpot draw game. Each ticket costs $1, and the jackpots start at $100,000.

If no players win the jackpot, it increases for the next draw. Currently, drawings take place daily at 11 p.m.

The full Cash 5 payday table includes:

  • Match 5 numbers: Jackpot (1 in 749,398)
  • 4 numbers: $200 (1 in 4,163)
  • 3 numbers: $5 (1 in 119)
  • 2 numbers: $1 (1 in 10.5)

With the EZ Match option, players spend an extra $1 for a supplemental game. After you pick your regular Cash 5 numbers, your ticket will also include five randomly chosen numbers. If your Cash 5 numbers match any of those EZ Match numbers, you get the prize listed next to it.

Here’s an example, via the VA Lottery instructional video:

Cash 5 with EZ Match

You can win multiple prizes per ticket. In fact, you can claim your EZ Match winnings before the official Cash 5 drawing even takes place.

The overall odds of winning any Cash 5 prize include:

  • Cash 5 prize: 1 in 9.62
  • EZ Match prize: 1 in 4.82
  • Cash 5 with EZ Match prize: 1 in 3.45

You can purchase Cash 5 tickets at any of the 5,000+ Virginia Lottery retailers. You can also purchase them from VA Lotto self-service machines.

However, though you can play many lottery games at VALottery.com, Cash 5 isn’t available for online purchase.

Photo by Shutterstock / Pung
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Dann Stupp

Dann Stupp is a longtime sports journalist who’s written and edited for The Athletic, USA Today, ESPN, MLB.com and other outlets. He lives in Lexington, Virginia.

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