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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

Search for press releases by year via the drop down menu below, or by keyword. Click "search" and view results below

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Nov 27, 2013
Sandston woman wins some big $ playing the Virginia Lottery

Tammy BowlesWhen Tammy Bowles called her husband, she was so worked up that he thought she’d been in an accident. But she had good news. She had just won $200,000 playing a Virginia Lottery Scratcher game.

“I thought I was going to pass out,” the Sandston women said as she claimed her prize.

It happened when she stopped for coffee at the 7-Eleven at 389 East Williamsburg Road in Sandston.  She bought some tickets, including one for a game called simply $. When she realized it was top prize winner, she asked the clerk to run it through the terminal to double-check.

“I was really excited,” she said.

Ms. Bowles, who is an insurance agent, said she has no immediate plans for her winnings.

$ (Game 1412) is one of dozens of Scratchers offered by the Virginia Lottery. It features prizes ranging from $5 all the way to $200,000. We launched $ with six top prizes. Ms. Bowles won the third top prize, which means three $200,000 prizes remain unclaimed.

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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 ranging from $5 up to $150,000. Ms. Wescott is the first player to win the top prize in this game, which means three $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. Wescott, who is retired, said she hopes to use her winnings to travel.

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 18, 2016
Virginia Lottery’s Black Friday special!

Virginia Lottery logoAll Virginia Lottery offices and Prize Zones will be open on November 25, Black Friday.

But this won’t be just any normal business day.

The first 200 customers at each location will receive a free Festive $50s Scratcher ticket.

In addition, all customer service centers will have free coffee and donuts from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. while supplies last.

We’ll see you then!

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Nov 17, 2016
She’s going to Vegas, baby! - Norfolk woman wins a trip in “Vegas VIP” drawing

Sarah ClarkSarah Clark has been having a lot of luck in the Virginia Lottery’s 100X the Money game. The Norfolk woman has scratched to win some good prizes. However, it was a ticket that didn’t initially win a prize that has her the most excited.

She entered the non-winning ticket in the Vegas VIP promotion, and now she’s going to Las Vegas!

Ms. Clark’s ticket was one of two drawn in the November 9 drawing. She gets to design her own trip to create the ultimate Vegas experience – a personalized VIP trip valued at $10,000.

“It feels really exciting,” she said. “At first I thought it was a friend playing a trick on me.”

Her 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.

Ms. Clark, who is a registered nurse, said she enjoys entering her non-winning tickets in Virginia Lottery promotions and has won some great prizes in the past.

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.

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Nov 17, 2016
Twice as nice: Springfield woman wins twice in the same drawing for $200,000

Ayana FreeAyana Free doesn’t play lottery games often. She said she spends maybe $5 a year on tickets.

She spent $2 for a pair of Cash 5 tickets for the September 19 day drawing, and they both matched all five numbers to win the $100,000 top prize. Her total winnings came to $200,000.

In fact, because she plays so rarely, Ms. Free said she didn’t think to check the winning numbers for several weeks.

“I put the ticket in my wallet and didn’t think about it,” she said.

When she finally did check the numbers and discovered she’d won, not once but twice, she was amazed.

“It was shocking news!” she said.

She bought the winning tickets at Springfield Sunoco Mart, 6400 Backlick Road in Springfield. She selected the numbers on her ticket using important family dates. Those winning numbers were 4-7-9-24-30.

Cash 5 drawings are held daily at 1:59 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. The chances of winning the $100,000 top prize are 1 in 278,256.

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 17, 2016
“I guess I hit the big one!” - Falls Church man wins $100,000

Elicer ChaconWhen Eliecer Chacon plays the Virginia Lottery’s Cash 5 game, he likes to select numbers that seem to have been coming up lately.

That strategy worked when the Falls Church man matched all five numbers in the November 3 night drawing to win the $100,000 top prize.

He bought the winning ticket at 7-Days Convenience Store, 3518 Moncure Avenue in Falls Church.  It wasn’t long after the drawing that he checked the winning numbers and made a startling discovery.

“I guess I hit the big one,” he said.

The winning numbers for that drawing were 16-25-29-30-34.

Cash 5 drawings are held daily at 1:59 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. The chances of winning the $100,000 top prize are 1 in 278,256.

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 08, 2016
When his wife got out of church, he greeted her with a $1 million winning ticket

Wailon JordanWailon Jordan sure knows how to surprise his wife. When the Chesapeake man realized he’d won the $1 million prize in the Virginia Lottery’s $1,000,000 Bankroll game, he showed her the winning ticket when she got out of church.

At first she thought they’d won $1,000. Then it looked like they’d won $10,000. It was then she realized the ticket was actually worth a million.

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

Mr. Jordan bought the winning ticket at Mini Mart, 4005 Portsmouth Boulevard in Chesapeake.

$1,000,000 Bankroll (Game #1642) is one of dozens of Scratcher games available from the Virginia Lottery. It features prizes ranging from $10 up to $1 million.  This is the second top prize claimed in this game, which means one million-dollar ticket is unclaimed.

The chances of winning the $1 million top prize in this game are 1 in 1,305,600. The chances of winning any prize are 1 in 3.44.

Mr. Jordan said he intends to pay off his house with his 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 08, 2016
Newport News woman matches all five numbers to win $100,000

Sharon McClintonWhen Sharon McClinton saw that her Cash 5 ticket matched all five numbers, she just kept repeating, “Is this right?”

It sure was!

The Newport News woman won the $100,000 top prize in the October 18 night drawing with a ticket she bought at Denbigh Food Mart, 420 Denbigh Boulevard in Newport News.

The winning numbers were 1-2-4-11-13. She selected her numbers using random numbers and some family birthdays.

Ms. McClinton, who is a quality assurance specialist for mentally challenged adults, said she has no immediate plans for her winnings except to save for retirement.

Cash 5 drawings are held daily at 1:59 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. The chances of winning the $100,000 top prize are 1 in 278,256.

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