As the weather cools down, things are heating up for September Virginia Lottery winners.
On Sept. 27, three separate Old Dominion residents were announced as lottery winners. Their grand prizes combined for a $10 million day for the Virginia Lottery.
Here are the stories of the three lucky lotto winners from earlier this week.
A $7 million breakfast
It was a regular day for Eric Austin of Capitol Heights, Maryland. But that changed right around breakfast time.
Austin stopped at the 7-Eleven near his office in Alexandria to buy a lottery ticket. Austin brought it back to work and scratched off the 100X The Money slip while eating breakfast.
That’s when he learned he just hit a $7 million payday. At first, Austin was in disbelief that he had the winning numbers. Austin told the Virginia Lottery:
“It didn’t register at first. I had to look at it a couple of times!”
The lucky ticket was purchased at the 7-Eleven located at 504 John Carlyle St in Alexandria. The store also cashed out a $10,000 check from the Virginia Lottery for selling the ticket.
Austin had the option of receiving the full $7 million in monthly payments for the next 30 years, or he could take a lump sum payment of $4.2 million. Austin opted for the latter.
Sometimes it pays to double down for September Virginia Lottery winners
You’ve got to know when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em. Luckily for James Mason, he knew not to walk away.
Mason stopped at a retail location to redeem a few winning Virginia Lottery tickets. Instead of taking the cash, he used the money to purchase a slip for the Supreme Riches game. Before exiting the store, Mason scratched the ticket and realized he just won $2 million. Mason had this to say to Virginia Lottery officials:
“I was a little dazed and shocked. It feels pretty amazing.”
Mason bought the scratch-off from One Stop Market at 1023 Main St in Altavista. The store also won $10,000 for selling the winning slip.
Mason, who works in construction, opted to take a one-time payment of $1.25 million before taxes. His other option was to receive the entire $2 million prize in annual payments for 30 years.
A superstition earns a Virginian $1 million
When Ali Ghaemi was selecting his numbers for the Virginia Lottery’s Pick 4 game, he went with 0-2-6-5. He then bought 200 plays at $1 apiece and when his number hit, he won $5,000 for each entry. That adds up to $1 million for the Alexandria resident.
Ghaemi picked that specific number sequence because he was born in February of 1965. The retired real estate agent told the Virginia Lottery that he didn’t have a grand reaction to learning he’d won:
“I must tell you, I really haven’t hit the ceiling. I can’t tell you that I jumped up.”
Ghaemi bought his 200 tickets from Safeway at 1688 Anderson Road in McLean. Ghaemi said his reason for buying all the tickets is that he was planning to leave town. So he decided to buy more tickets than usual to see if he could luck out, and he most certainly did.