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Welcome to the Virginia Lottery online Media Center. Whether or not you're a member of the working news media, feel free to use the resources on this page. If you need help beyond what's available here, please contact the Virginia Lottery's Communications Department at 804-692-7778.

Virginia Lottery - Media Relations
Phone: (804) 692-7778
Fax: (804) 692-7775 virginialottery@valottery.com

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Mar 24, 2014
Herndon small business owner wins $3 million playing Mega Millions
Glinda Salgado sells a lot of Virginia Lottery at the store her family owns: Elden Market & Deli at 1141 Elden Street #103 in Herndon. She’s seen a lot of her customers win prizes of various sizes. So when she heard that a Mega Millions ticket sold at her store had won $3 million, she was really excited.

“Oh good, somebody won. Yay!” she recalled thinking when she heard the news.

What she didn’t realize is that she was the person who bought that winning ticket. Her ticket matched the first five numbers in the March 14 Mega Millions drawing.

“I didn’t think it was me, so I didn’t check my ticket,” she said.

The winning numbers were 7-20-40-54-69 and the Mega Ball number was 12.  The only number she didn’t match was the Mega Ball number. Normally, that would win $1 million. But Ms. Salgado spent an extra $1 for the Megaplier when she bought the ticket, which increased the prized to $3 million.

On March 24, Virginia Lottery Executive Director Paula Otto stopped by the store to present her with $3 million prize, and the store with a $10,000 bonus from the Lottery for selling the winning ticket.

Click here to see video of the presentation.

Some people might say the store is located in a lucky area. It’s just a block or two away from the Giant Food where a $107 million Mega Millions jackpot was won in 2011.

Ms. Salgado said she selected four of the numbers on her ticket using numbers that are important to her, and the remaining two numbers at random.  Had she matched that final number, she would have won a Mega Millions jackpot estimated at $353 million. The odds of matching the first five numbers in Mega Millions are 1 in 18,492,204.

Ms. Salgado, who lives in Chantilly, said she has no immediate plans for her winnings.

Mega Millions drawings are held Tuesday and Friday nights at 11:00. Drawings are broadcast on TV stations across Virginia and streamed live at www.valottery.com and on the Lottery’s Facebook page.

When it comes to education, the Virginia Lottery is game.  In fact, it’s the reason we play.  We generate more than $1.3 million per day for Virginia’s K-12 public schools. Operating entirely on revenue from the sale of Lottery products, the Virginia Lottery generated more than $486.5 million for Virginia’s public schools in Fiscal Year 2013. For more info, visit our website, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and check us out on YouTube. Please play responsibly.

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Dec 02, 2016
Went in for a ginger ale, came out with $1,000,000 ticket

Fritz SineusFritz Sineus’ girlfriend has always told him that buying Lottery tickets is a waste of money. Now, Mr. Sineus can tell her, “I told you so,” after he won the $1,000,000 prize playing 100X the Money from the Virginia Lottery.

“Is it true that I won?” he asked. “I couldn’t believe it!”

He bought the winning ticket at 7-Eleven, 9700 Jefferson Davis Highway in Richmond.

Mr. Sineus, who is from North Chesterfield, had the choice of taking the full $1 million prize over 30 years or a one-time cash option of $630,915 before taxes. He chose the cash option. The store receives a $10,000 bonus from the Virginia Lottery for selling the winning ticket.

The maintenance supervisor said he has no immediate plans for his winnings except to pay bills.

100X the Money features prizes ranging from $30 to a $10 million top prize, the largest ever offered in a Virginia Lottery Scratcher game. This is the first $1,000,000 prize claimed, so two more remain unclaimed. In addition, two $10 million top prizes are unclaimed in this game.

The odds of winning the top prize are 1 in 2,611,200. The odds of winning any prize in this game are 1 in 2.78.

When it comes to education, the Virginia Lottery is game.  In fact, it’s the reason we play.  We generate more than $1.6 million per day for Virginia’s K-12 public schools.  Operating entirely on revenue from the sale of Lottery products, the Virginia Lottery generated a record $588 million for Virginia’s public schools in Fiscal Year 2016. For more info, visit our website, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram and check us out on YouTube. Please play responsibly.

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Dec 02, 2016
Springfield man scratches to win $1 million prize

Jose VelasquezJose Velasquez is a very lucky person. The Springfield man scratched to win the million-dollar top prize in the Virginia Lottery’s 20X the Money game.

“When I found out, I was ecstatic!” he said.

He bought the winning ticket at Dollar Power, 7012 Commerce Street in Springfield.

Mr. Velasquez had a choice of taking the full $1 million prize over 30 years or a one-time cash option of $630,915 before taxes. He chose the cash option. The store receives a $10,000 bonus from the Virginia Lottery for selling the winning ticket.

20X the Money (Game #1689) is one of dozens of Scratcher games available from the Virginia Lottery. It features prizes ranging from $10 to $1 million. 

The chances of winning the $1 million top prize in this game are 1 in 1,162,800. The chances of winning any prize are 1 in 3.44.

Mr. Velasquez said the winnings will go into his savings.

When it comes to education, the Virginia Lottery is game.  In fact, it’s the reason we play.  We generate more than $1.6 million per day for Virginia’s K-12 public schools.  Operating entirely on revenue from the sale of Lottery products, the Virginia Lottery generated a record $588 million for Virginia’s public schools in Fiscal Year 2016. For more info, visit our website, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram and check us out on YouTube. Please play responsibly.

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Nov 29, 2016
She stopped for a bottle of water and ended up with a $1 million winning ticket

Sydenna SalazarAll Sydenna Salazar wanted was some water.

She had been visiting her brother in Virginia and was now driving back home to High Point, North Carolina. While she was at Car Stop, 7431 Jefferson Davis Highway in Richmond, she also bought a $1,000,000 Instant Cashout ticket from the Virginia Lottery.

Later, when she got home, she scratched the ticket and discovered she’d won the million-dollar top prize.

“I just couldn’t believe it,” she said. “I thought I must be reading it wrong.”

She had the choice of taking the full $1 million prize over 30 years or a one-time cash option of $561,798 before taxes. She chose the cash option. The store receives a $10,000 bonus from the Virginia Lottery for selling the winning ticket.

Ms. Salazar said she has no immediate plans for her winnings. “We’re not going to do anything crazy,” she said.

$1,000,000 Instant Cashout is one of dozens of games available from the Virginia Lottery. It features prizes ranging from $10 to $1 million. This is the game’s first million-dollar prize claimed, which means two more remain unclaimed. The odds of winning the top prize are 1 in 1,305,600. The odds of winning any prize are 1 in 3.34.

When it comes to education, the Virginia Lottery is game.  In fact, it’s the reason we play.  We generate more than $1.6 million per day for Virginia’s K-12 public schools.  Operating entirely on revenue from the sale of Lottery products, the Virginia Lottery generated a record $588 million for Virginia’s public schools in Fiscal Year 2016. For more info, visit our website, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram and check us out on YouTube. Please play responsibly.

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Nov 29, 2016
Mount Jackson man wins a Las Vegas trip from the Virginia Lottery

Thor HansenThor Hansen is on his way to Vegas!

And here’s the kicker: It’s all because of a Virginia Lottery ticket that didn’t initially win.

The Mount Jackson man bought a 100X the Money ticket, scratched it, and discovered it was not a winner. But instead of throwing the ticket away, he entered it in the Lottery’s Vegas VIP Promotion.

Then on November 9, that ticket was one of two drawn for the top prize. He gets to design his own trip to create the ultimate Vegas experience – a personalized VIP trip valued at $10,000.

“I was very surprised,” he said. “It’s the biggest prize I’ve ever won.”

His ticket was drawn from more than 160,000 non-winning 100X the Money tickets entered. A total of 12 Vegas trips will be awarded, two per month for the next five months. The next two winners will be drawn on December 14.

Mr. Hansen, who works in construction and paving, said he and his wife are looking forward to seeing a family member who lives in Las Vegas.

100X the Money features prizes ranging from $30 to a $10 million top prize, the largest ever offered in a Virginia Lottery Scratcher game. The odds of winning the top prize are 1 in 2,611,200. The odds of winning any prize in this game are 1 in 2.78.

When it comes to education, the Virginia Lottery is game.  In fact, it’s the reason we play.  We generate more than $1.6 million per day for Virginia’s K-12 public schools.  Operating entirely on revenue from the sale of Lottery products, the Virginia Lottery generated a record $588 million for Virginia’s public schools in Fiscal Year 2016. For more info, visit our website, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram and check us out on YouTube. Please play responsibly.

VIEW DETAILS
Nov 28, 2016
Newport News woman with an “itch” for a Scratcher ticket wins $200,000

Jinne Amin“I had an itch.”

That’s what Jinni Amin said prompted her to buy a 50X the Money ticket from the Virginia Lottery.

It happened when the Newport News woman stopped for gas at Stop & Go, located at 14609 Warwick Boulevard in Newport News. When she took the ticket home and scratched it, she realized she’d won $200,000.

“I had to look at it three or four times to see if it was actually a winner,” she said. “It’s shocking. It feels great!”

The prize she won is actually the second-highest prize in 50X the Money (game #1612). The top prize is $5 million. Ms. Amin is the fifth person to win that $200,000 prize, which means three similar prizes have yet to be claimed. Two $5 million prizes have been awarded, which means one has yet to be claimed.

The odds of winning the top prize are 1 in 1,632,000. The odds of winning any prize in this game are 1 in 3.07.

Ms. Amin said she has no immediate plans for her winnings.

When it comes to education, the Virginia Lottery is game.  In fact, it’s the reason we play.  We generate more than $1.6 million per day for Virginia’s K-12 public schools.  Operating entirely on revenue from the sale of Lottery products, the Virginia Lottery generated a record $588 million for Virginia’s public schools in Fiscal Year 2016. For more info, visit our website, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram and check us out on YouTube. Please play responsibly.

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Nov 28, 2016
His granddaughter’s birthday leads to $100,000 win for Richmond man

Thomas HusterTalk about a great birthday!

When Thomas Huster played the Virginia Lottery’s Pick 4 game, he chose the combination 1-1-2-7 in honor of his granddaughter’s birthday: November 27. In fact, the Richmond man didn’t buy just one ticket with that number combination, he played it 20 times in the November 24 day drawing, three days before her birthday.

Sure enough, that four-number combination was drawn, making all 20 plays winners. The prize for matching all four digits in Pick 4 is $5,000, which means he won a total of $100,000.

“Oh man, I was so glad!” he said as he claimed his prize. “Right now it feels great.”

He bought all 20 plays at A & A Convenience Store, 2739 Hungary Spring Road in Richmond.

Mr. Huster, who is retired, said he has no immediate plans for his winnings except to pay bills.

Pick 4 drawings are held daily at 1:59 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. The chances of matching all four digits in exact order are 1 in 10,000.

When it comes to education, the Virginia Lottery is game.  In fact, it’s the reason we play.  We generate more than $1.6 million per day for Virginia’s K-12 public schools.  Operating entirely on revenue from the sale of Lottery products, the Virginia Lottery generated a record $588 million for Virginia’s public schools in Fiscal Year 2016. For more info, visit our website, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram and check us out on YouTube. Please play responsibly.

VIEW DETAILS
Nov 25, 2016
Thumbs up! Richmond couple wins $250,000 in “Season’s Winnings” game

Doris Johnson & Jeff FountainDoris Johnson and Jeff Fountain thought their Season’s Winnings ticket from the Virginia Lottery might be a $250,000 winner, but they weren’t quite sure. So the Richmond couple asked a store clerk to check it for them.

Doris asked the clerk, “Do you see what I see?”

The clerk examined the ticket, and instead of answering, he flashed them the thumbs up. That’s when they knew they’d really won.

They bought the winning ticket at Shreeji Food Market, 429 East Belt Boulevard in Richmond.

Season’s Winnings is one of dozens of games offered by the Virginia Lottery. It features prizes ranging from $10 up to $250,000. This is the first top prize winning ticket claimed in this game, which means three $250,000 tickets are unclaimed.

The odds of winning that top prize are 1 in 734,400. The chances of winning any prize in Season’s Winnings are 1 in 3.32.

Ms. Johnson and Mr. Fountain said they have no immediate plans for the winnings, except possibly some home repairs.

When it comes to education, the Virginia Lottery is game.  In fact, it’s the reason we play.  We generate more than $1.6 million per day for Virginia’s K-12 public schools.  Operating entirely on revenue from the sale of Lottery products, the Virginia Lottery generated a record $588 million for Virginia’s public schools in Fiscal Year 2016. For more info, visit our website, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram and check us out on YouTube. Please play responsibly.

VIEW DETAILS
Nov 25, 2016
“Money from the laundry” leads to $150,000 Lottery win for Woodbridge man

Gabriel JonesYou might say Gabriel Jones found $150,000 in the laundry.

That’s not exactly what happened. You see, the Woodbridge man found a few extra dollars in his laundry, so he decided to use it to buy an Amazing 8s Scratcher ticket from the Virginia Lottery.

The ticket that he bought at Wawa, 2051 Daniel Stuart Square in Woodbridge, turned out to be a $150,000 winner.

“I still don’t know how I feel” he laughed, when asked how it feels to win such an exciting prize.

Amazing 8s (game #1705) features prizes ranging from $5 up to $150,000. Mr. Jones is the third player to win the top prize in this game, which means two $150,000 tickets are unclaimed. The odds of winning that top prize are 1 in 832,320. The chances of winning any prize in Amazing 8s are 1 in 4.32.

Mr. Jones, who works as a server in a restaurant, said he hopes to use his winnings to help buy his mother a house.

“I never thought in a million years I’d win,” he said as he claimed his prize.

When it comes to education, the Virginia Lottery is game.  In fact, it’s the reason we play.  We generate more than $1.6 million per day for Virginia’s K-12 public schools.  Operating entirely on revenue from the sale of Lottery products, the Virginia Lottery generated a record $588 million for Virginia’s public schools in Fiscal Year 2016. For more info, visit our website, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram and check us out on YouTube. Please play responsibly.

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Nov 25, 2016
Powerball jackpot grows to estimated $403 million

PowerballThe Wednesday, November 23, Powerball drawing really brought out the winners in Virginia. A total of 35,359 tickets sold in Virginia won prizes. But since no one in Virginia or anywhere else matched all six numbers to win the jackpot, the estimated jackpot for Saturday’s drawing grows to $403 million.

Virginia Lottery officials expect to sell about 750,000 Powerball tickets on Saturday alone in the Commonwealth. In fact, Powerball tickets in Virginia are expected to sell at a rate of about 1,500 tickets per minute at peak times on Saturday.

If one ticket matches all six numbers, the winner will have a choice: either take the full $403 million jackpot in 30 annual payments, or choose a one-time cash option of approximately $243.8 million before taxes.

The profit from every Powerball ticket bought in Virginia, like tickets from all other Virginia Lottery games, goes to K-12 public education in the Commonwealth.

Powerball drawings are held at 10:59 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays. Powerball drawings are broadcast on TV stations across Virginia and replayed on www.valottery.com.  The cut-off time to buy a ticket is 10:00 p.m. on the night of the drawing.

When it comes to education, the Virginia Lottery is game.  In fact, it’s the reason we play.  We generate more than $1.6 million per day for Virginia’s K-12 public schools.  Operating entirely on revenue from the sale of Lottery products, the Virginia Lottery generated a record $588 million for Virginia’s public schools in Fiscal Year 2016. For more info, visit our website, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram and check us out on YouTube. Please play responsibly.

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Nov 25, 2016
Maryland woman wins $150,000 in Virginia Lottery’s “Holiday Riches” game

Phyllis LaGrandIt was her godson’s birthday party, but she received the biggest present.

Phyllis LaGrand of Windsor Mill, Maryland, was in Virginia to help her godson celebrate his 18th birthday. She stopped and bought a Holiday Riches ticket at Parkway Express, 8105 Loisdale Road in Newington. That ticket ended up winning the game’s $150,000 top prize.

“It feels unreal!” she said as she claimed her prize. “You see other people holding the check, but you never think it’ll be you!”

She took the ticket home and kept it in her Bible until she was ready to redeem it.

Holiday Riches is one of dozens of games offered by the Virginia Lottery. It features prizes ranging from $5 up to $150,000. Ms. LaGrand is the second player to win the top prize in this game, which means two $150,000 tickets are unclaimed.

The odds of winning that top prize are 1 in 795,600. The chances of winning any prize in Holiday Riches are 1 in 4.31.

Ms. LaGrand said she has no immediate plans for her winnings, but there may be a nice trip in her future.

When it comes to education, the Virginia Lottery is game.  In fact, it’s the reason we play.  We generate more than $1.6 million per day for Virginia’s K-12 public schools.  Operating entirely on revenue from the sale of Lottery products, the Virginia Lottery generated a record $588 million for Virginia’s public schools in Fiscal Year 2016. For more info, visit our website, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram and check us out on YouTube. Please play responsibly.

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Nov 22, 2016
You can call her “Million-Dollar Murray” - Barboursville woman takes top prize in “Million $$ Match” game

Mary MurrayIf you hear Mary Murray of Barboursville referred to as “Million-Dollar Murray,” there’s a good reason for it. She won the $1 million top prize in the Virginia Lottery’s Million $$ Match Scratcher game.

She didn’t realize it first, though. Ms. Murray bought the ticket at Speedway, 2235 Seminole Drive in Charlottesville, and scratched it in the store. She thought she’d won $100, but a clerk saw that she’d actually won the top prize.

She had the choice of taking the full $1 million prize over 30 years or a one-time cash option of $561,798 before taxes. She chose the cash option. The store receives a $10,000 bonus from the Virginia Lottery for selling the winning ticket.

Million $$ Match is one of dozens games available from the Virginia Lottery. It features prizes ranging from $10 to $1 million. This is the game’s first million-dollar prize claimed, which means three more remain unclaimed. The odds of winning the top prize are 1 in 1,101,600. The odds of winning any prize are 1 in 3.31.

Ms. Murray, a mother of five, said she hopes to use her winnings to do some work on her house and take care of her family.

When it comes to education, the Virginia Lottery is game.  In fact, it’s the reason we play.  We generate more than $1.6 million per day for Virginia’s K-12 public schools.  Operating entirely on revenue from the sale of Lottery products, the Virginia Lottery generated a record $588 million for Virginia’s public schools in Fiscal Year 2016. For more info, visit our website, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram and check us out on YouTube. Please play responsibly.

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Nov 22, 2016
While going out to eat, Chesapeake woman wins $150,000 in “Holiday Riches”

Celestine WescottCelestine Wescott was going out to eat with her daughter when they made a stop at a nearby store.  While there, the Chesapeake woman made a fateful purchase.

“I told the young man to give me a $5 scratch,” she later said.

So the clerk handed her a Holiday Riches ticket from the Virginia Lottery. When she scratched the ticket in her car, she discovered it was a $150,000 winner.

“I was calm,” she said. “I feel blessed.”

It happened at Fast Food Mart, 4137 Indian River Road in Chesapeake.

Holiday Riches is one of dozens of games offered by the Virginia Lottery. It features prizes