While we carved turkey, the Virginia Lottery cut some big checks and confirmed five Virginia Lottery Millionaires between Nov. 22 and Dec. 2.
The players all found different paths to their (pre-tax) $1 million windfalls:
- One win came from a Powerball near-miss when the jackpot soared past the $1 billion mark.
- Rival lotto game Mega Millions produced a 5-of-6 Virginia winner as well.
- A player from Alexandria bought the aptly-named “Instant Millionaire” scratch ticket and won the top prize.
- Online lottery plays are a chance to win big at home, as a Cash4Life lotto player from Fredericksburg learned.
- And, a truck driver’s convenience store stop included a “Hit It Big!” million-dollar scratch win.
Virginia Lottery Millionaires announced on Nov. 22
Alice Grant beat odds of more than 1-in-1.2 million
A pair of Virginia Lottery Millionaires posed for publicity photos — and had their news posted just two days before Thanksgiving.
Alice Grant was waiting for the pharmacy to fill a prescription for her daughter at the Duke Street Giant Food store in Alexandria.
So, as the pharmacy staff worked behind the counter, Grant bought an Instant Millionaire ticket to pass the time. The scratch resulted in celebration, not ointment.
“This can not be real,” she told the Virginia Lottery staff when she cashed in her prize.
“It was,” the lottery replied in its online announcement. Her big check was dated Oct. 31.
The chances of winning the Instant Millionaire top prize are 1-in-1,224,000. The chances of winning any prize are 1-in-3.91. The Virginia Lottery gave Giant Food a $10,000 bonus from the Virginia Lottery for selling the winning ticket.
Two of the three top prizes have already been claimed in that game. But, there’s still one more Instant Millionaire top ticket out there as of Dec. 7.
George McGrady goes online for a big win
Would you rather have $1 million all at once or $1,000 per week for the rest of your life?
That’s a question George McGrady had to answer when he visited a Virginia Lottery office on Nov. 2. The Fredericksburg man went with the $1 million option.
Virginia offers lotto ticket sales online. McGrady used the option. All five Cash4Life lotto numbers aligned for him on Nov. 1. He just missed the Cash Ball in the daily multi-state lotto game.
Anyone looking for a 6-for-6 match faces 1-in-21.8 million odds. If McGrady had matched the Cash Ball, he would have received an option of $1,000 per day instead of per week.
No $1 billion for the Shakoors, but being a Virginia Lottery Millionaire is nice, too
Fouzia Shakoor and her husband stopped by Virginia Lottery offices on Nov. 7 and their good fortune was announced on Nov. 22.
Like many of us, the couple played Powerball as the jackpot climbed toward a world-record amount. The couple went 5-for-5 with the white balls for the Nov. 2 drawing. They only missed on the Powerball, which was $1.2 billion at the time.
The Soapstone Drive 7-Eleven in Reston printed the Shakoor couple’s winning ticket. When they discovered how much they’d won, Fouzia’s husband said, “My stomach turned.”
The family plans to avoid some college debt for their children. They’ll make some vacation plans as well.
Jackpot odds for Powerball are 1-in-292.2 million. The overall odds of winning any prize in the game are 1-in-25.
More Virginia Lottery Millionaires after Thanksgiving
Truck driver picks up a payday
Truck driver Jose Granados stopped at the Royal Farms convenience store in Spotsylvania, VA, for some gas and coffee. He bought a “Hit It Big!” play and the game lived up to its name.
After his ticket scratching revealed the $1 million win, Granados told lottery officials: “Suddenly, I wasn’t hungry anymore.”
Hit It Big! features prizes ranging from $10 up to $1 million. This is the second top prize claimed in the game, which means one more remains unclaimed. The odds of winning the top prize in this game are 1 in 1,672,800. The odds of winning any prize are 1 in 3.87.
Good news travels
Garland Hare was traveling overseas when he learned that his Mega Millions numbers aligned for a $1 million win.
The computer programmer bought the ticket for the Nov. 1 drawing at the West Main Street Mini Mart in Salem one day before he put his passport to use.
He told the Virginia Lottery he’ll put some bills to bed and do some more traveling with his winnings.
The Mega Millions lotto drawings are held at 11 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays. Hare’s odds to match five numbers were 1-in-12,607,306. The odds of hitting the Mega Millions jackpot are 1-in-302,575,350.