Malcolm Meredith, resident of Manassas, VA, purchased a Mega Millions Virginia Lottery ticket for the drawing on May 20.
He didn’t win the overall Jackpot, but he did win a $1 million prize.
He thought he lost at first but held on to hope
Meredith used the Easy Pick option to select his Mega Millions numbers, according to the Virginia Lottery. This means that a computer selects each number randomly for the player.
He purchased his ticket at Manassas supermarket, Harris Teeter, which is 30 miles from the Washington D.C. area.
Meredith thought he might have won a prize after the drawing. But he showed his ticket to someone who claimed he wasn’t, in fact, a winner.
Weeks passed, but he held on to his ticket just in case. “I was hoping and praying,” Meredith said.
Mega Millions winning discovered weeks later
Finally, Meredith got a second opinion several weeks later and realized his ticket won him a certain amount of prize money.
He headed to Woodbridge, Virginia – armed with his ticket – to visit the North Virginia State Lottery Customer Service Center. There Meredith learned the truth: His ticket was a $1 million winner.
The winning numbers for the May 20 Mega Millions drawing were 33, 40, 59, 60, and 69 with a Mega Ball number of 22. The Jackpot prize for matching all five numbers plus the Mega Ball number was $131 million.
Meredith matched all five numbers, but not the Mega Ball number, winning a total of $1 million in prize money.
How to play Virginia Lottery’s Mega Millions
The Virginia Lottery runs Mega Millions for customers in the state. Players purchase tickets for $2 each.
Players can pick their own five Mega Millions numbers, as long as they are between 1 and 70. They can pick their Mega Ball number between 1 and 25.
The Easy Pick option allows customers to let the computer choose the numbers randomly, too. Players can also choose a mix of selected numbers and random numbers.
Each player has the chance to win cash prizes as well as the big prize – the jackpot. Each jackpot grows until someone matches all six numbers, and it’s also possible for multiple players to win a single jackpot and share it.
The Mega Millions winner is drawn twice per week on Tuesdays and Fridays at 11 p.m. local time.
Local Virginia TV stations air the winning numbers. The Virginia Lottery posts information on its website as well. Some players also bring their ticket to a Virginia Lottery retailer where the ticket can be scanned to determine if it’s a winner.
Prizes for winning tickets are set at fixed amounts between $2 and $1 million, depending on how many numbers are matched on the ticket. Jackpot prize amounts vary by drawing.
Prize amounts and odds of winning the Virginia Lottery Mega Millions
A ticket must match all five balls plus the Mega Ball to win the Mega Millions big jackpot prize. Players face odds of 1 in 302,575,350 of winning the jackpot.
To win the $1 million prize, players only need to match the five balls and don’t have to match the Mega Ball. The odds for this prize are 1 in 12,607,306.
A $10,000 prize is also up for grabs twice per week, and players must match four balls as well as the Mega Ball. The odds for this prize are 1 in 931,001.
Winning some of the smaller prizes between $2 and $500 is a bit better of a shot. The odds for these prizes range between 1 in 37 and 1 in 38,792.