For nearly two weeks, Robert Manning, 51, of Springfield, was sitting on $1 million and didn’t even know it.
Manning had a Powerball ticket worth $1 million in his wallet, along with 11 others he had filled out for a March 5 drawing. Lottery officials said he purchased the winning ticket at the 7-Eleven at 6221 Rolling Road in Springfield.
Manning had the tickets in his wallet but was too busy to check if any of them had won until 11 days later, when he said he decided to clean out his wallet. “It was getting too fat,” he said.
After checking to see if any of his dozen or so Powerball tickets had yielded anything, he realized he had a ticket that was only one number off from a $40 million jackpot.
The winning numbers were 3-7-9-26-54, and the Powerball number was 19. Manning had all but the 19.
“Even so, his ticket was worth a cool million bucks,” said John Hagerty, a spokesman for the Virginia Lottery.
Hagerty said Manning drove through a snowstorm on March 17 to Richmond, where he claimed his St. Patrick’s Day pot of gold. “It feels crazy,” Manning said as he presented his winning ticket to lottery officials. “It feels like there’s nine million things going through my mind.” Manning, a federal employee, said he has one child in college and another planning to go to college next year, so the money could not have been timed better.
Hagerty said Manning’s case is not unusual.
In a little over a year, 11 Virginia tickets have won the $1 million prize.
“Winners have 180 days to claim their prizes, and it’s not uncommon for many winners to wait weeks, months, or right up until the last minute to come forward. Of course, some wait too long, and lose substantial amounts of money,” he said.
Hagerty said a Mega Millions lottery ticket worth $3 million that was purchased in Herndon for a March 14 drawing has yet to be claimed.
The ticket was bought at Elden Market & Deli, located at 1141 Elden St.
The winning numbers for that drawing were 7-20-40-54-69, and the Mega Ball number was 12.
“This ticket matched the first five numbers and missed only the Mega Ball number. Normally that would win $1 million, like in Robert Manning’s case, but whoever bought this ticket spent an extra dollar for the ‘Megaplier’ when he or she bought the ticket. That tripled the prize to $3 million,” he said.
“The winner should immediately sign the back of the ticket to establish ownership. When they are ready to claim the $3 million prize, he or she should contact the Virginia Lottery.”
Virginia lottery tickets 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, according to Hagerty.