Lady Luck visits Va. in Mega Millions

Ronald E. Carrington | 10/25/2018, 6 a.m.
Money! Money! Money! Americans took a deep breath Tuesday night, praying to be the lucky winner of the biggest drawing ...

Money! Money! Money!

Americans took a deep breath Tuesday night, praying to be the lucky winner of the biggest drawing in Mega Millions history.

Lottery officials said Wednesday the lone ticket worth $1.537 billion was purchased at a rural South Carolina convenience store outside Simpsonville, a city of about 18,000 residents near Greenville.

No one had stepped forward by Free Press deadline Wednesday night to claim the super jackpot.

The winning numbers: 5, 28, 62, 65 and 70, with a Mega Ball of 5.

The winner, or winners, can choose to take a $877.8 million lump sum payout, or collect the full amount in annual payments over 30 years.

The ticketholder has up to 180 days to claim the prize and can remain anonymous.

Lottery fever struck the Richmond area as jackpot chasers waited in long lines ahead of Tuesday night’s drawing. Virginia Lottery officials said as many as 12,700 tickets were sold per minute at the sales peak.

There was good news for several thousand Virginians. More than 451,000 Mega Millions tickets purchased in Virginia won prizes, state officials said Wednesday.

That includes two winning $1 million tickets. One was purchased in King William County at Chill Stop, 5033 Richmond Tappahannock Highway in Aylett. The other was purchased at Giant Food, 4309 Dale Blvd. in Dale City.

There also was a single $30,000 Megaplier winning ticket sold at a Northern Virginia 7-Eleven, 11854 Sunrise Valley Drive in Reston.

And of 12 winning $10,000 tickets, two were purchased in the Richmond area — at the Fas Mart, 7559 Cold Harbor Road in Mechanicsville and the Styles Bi-Rite, 11300 Hull Street Road in Midlothian.

Despite the disappointment of not winning the top prize, lottery officials recommended that people still check their numbers. While no one won the Mega Millions drawing on Friday, Oct. 19, when the jackpot first hit $1 billion, more than 336,000 tickets bought in Virginia won prizes in that drawing.

Two tickets purchased in Virginia for that drawing are now worth $1 million. They were purchased in Louisa County at Gum Spring BP, 911 Cross Country Road in Mineral, and at Whistle Stop, 11729 Old Franklin Turnpike, in Union Hall in Franklin County.

Two tickets won $20,000 — bought at Parham Pit Stop, 807 East Parham Road in Henrico, and 7-Eleven, 615 E. Market St. in Leesburg.

Five tickets each won $10,000, including one purchased in Richmond at a 7-Eleven, 1001 E. Main St., in Downtown.

The Mega Millions jackpot for Friday, Oct. 26, is a small $40 million.

The Mega Millions frenzy overshadowed Wednesday night’s Powerball drawing, with the jackpot reaching a whopping $620 million.