Sometimes you need family to keep you grounded. Brian McCarthy discovered that when he shared some big news with his grandmother. The 25-year-old McLean man had just discovered on Facebook that his Mega Millions ticket matched all six numbers in the July 1 drawing. He had won the jackpot worth an estimated $107 million.
“That’s wonderful,” his grandmother replied. “You deserve it. Can I make you a grilled cheese sandwich?”
Mr. McCarthy won the mega-prize with a ticket he bought from a lottery self-service machine at Giant Food, 1228 Elden Street in Herndon. He used the Easy Pick function, allowing the computer to randomly select the numbers on the ticket. Those winning numbers were 12–17–30–35–47 and the Mega Ball number 26.
On August 10, he returned to the store to receive his prize from Virginia Lottery Executive Director Paula Otto. Rather than take the full jackpot in 26 annual payments, he chose the cash option of $68.4 million. Giant Food received a $50,000 bonus from the Virginia Lottery for selling the jackpot-winning ticket.
Mr. McCarthy initially went to the store to make an ATM withdrawal. At the time, he was an account manager with a soft drink company. Since the Virginia Lottery area was next to the ATM, he decided to play Mega Millions. He bought five tickets, the second of which was the big winner.
“This is the third-largest prize ever awarded by the Virginia Lottery and the seventh Mega Millions jackpot won in the Commonwealth,” said Ms. Otto. “In the time it took for the jackpot to grow to this level, from May 28 to the July 1 drawing, Mega Millions sales raised more than $4.4 million in profits for Virginia’s public schools.”
The largest jackpot winners in Virginia Lottery history were J. R. and Peggy Triplett of Winchester, who won a $239 million jackpot on February 20, 2004, with a Mega Millions ticket they bought in Stephens City. Virginia’s second-largest jackpot winner, Steve Williams of Shenandoah, won $200 million in the October 16, 2009, Mega Millions drawing.
The Virginia Lottery generates approximately $1.2 million per day for Virginia’s K-12 public schools. Operating entirely on revenue from the sale of Lottery products, rather than tax dollars, the Virginia Lottery raised more than $430.2 million for Virginia’s public schools in fiscal year 2010. That represents about 8 percent of state funding for public education in Virginia. For more information, visit www.valottery.com. Follow the Virginia Lottery on Facebook and Twitter. Please play responsibly.