Couple Claims $44 Million Jackpot in Virginia

Kimberly Swanson of Richmond and Dan Franks of the Tampa Bay Area were driving to the airport on Memorial Day. On a whim, they stopped to play Mega Millions. When the winning numbers were drawn the next night, Dan and Kimberly had the only ticket that matched all six numbers! They won the second-largest jackpot in Virginia Lottery history.

"It's great that I was sitting down, because I was absolutely floored," Kimberly told Virginia Lottery officials.

On the day after the drawing, she heard on the news that a jackpot-winning ticket had been sold in Henrico County. Then she checked the winning numbers in the newspaper, but even then it took a while for it to settle in. Then she called Dan to tell him the good news.

"About 15 minutes later he called back and asked if I was kidding," she said.

The winning ticket was one of 20 they purchased E & C Enterprises, located at 4050 Spring Oak Drive in the Short Pump area of Richmond. After they bought the tickets, Ms. Swanson stuck all 20 of them on her refrigerator with a magnet, not yet knowing that one of them was worth millions!

On June 11, they returned to the store to receive their prize from Virginia Lottery Executive Director Sheila Hill-Christian. The winners chose to take their prize in the form of the cash option, estimated at $25 million.

The winning numbers were 02-24-44-51-54 and the Mega Ball number was 07. Dan and Kimberly used the Easy Pick function, allowing the computer to randomly select their numbers.

Dan works in a financial services firm. Kimberly works in a dental clinic.

They are not the only winners. For selling a jackpot winning ticket the store receives a $50,000 bonus from the Virginia Lottery.

This is the second largest jackpot won in Virginia. The largest was a $239 million jackpot for the February 20, 2004 Mega Millions drawing. It was claimed six weeks later by retired truck driver J. R. Triplett of Winchester.

All profits from the Virginia Lottery, including Mega Millions tickets sold in Virginia, go to K-12 public school education in the Commonwealth. In fiscal year 2006 the Lottery turned over more than $454 million for Virginia's public schools, representing about 10 percent of state funding for public education in Virginia.