When Glinda Salgado of Chantilly recently awoke one morning with four numbers in her head, she immediately wrote them down. She said she felt that because the numbers had come to her in a dream they must be special, so she began using them to play the lottery.
“I played them a few times,” she said.
Salgado’s parents are natives of El Salvador who came to the United States in the 1970s.
In 2009, the family opened the Elden Market & Deli convenience store, 1411 Elden St. in Herndon, where lottery tickets are sold. Salgado, the second oldest of four children, is a co-owner and works there along with her two sisters and her brother. “Of course, that’s where I buy my lottery tickets,” she said.
When it was announced that a $3 million winning ticket had been sold at the store for the March 14 drawing of the Mega Millions lottery game, Salgado said it never occurred to her that it could have been the ticket she had purchased for herself.
“At first I was so excited to think that we had sold a customer a ticket worth so much, that I didn’t even think to check my own ticket,” she said. But after a few hours, Salgado said she decided to check her ticket, just in case.
“It was all in slow motion; every number was matching and I was like, ‘Is this for real?’” she said.
Sure enough, the four numbers from her dream, along with two others she had chosen at random, matched the winning numbers.
The only number she didn’t match was the Mega Ball number. Had she matched that as well, she would have been able to claim the Mega Millions jackpot estimated at $353 million. But because she matched the first five numbers—at odds of more than 18 million to one—she was still able to claim a $3 million prize.
“I gave it to my sister to verify, and she was excited,” she said. “There were customers in the store so we didn’t jump or scream or anything. So it was like, ‘Ok, calm down; be quiet; don’t say anything.’”
Salgado’s younger brother David, 23, said he pored over the numbers several times himself, matching them repeatedly to the official notification from the Virginia Lottery.
“I had the winning ticket in one hand and the report in the other, and I double and triple checked them. Finally I said to my sister, ‘Oh my goodness, three million dollars!”
“Normally, matching the first five numbers would win only $1 million, but because Salgado paid an extra dollar for the ‘Megaplier,’ it tripled her prize,” said Virginia Executive Director Paula Otto, who stopped by the Elden Market & Deli on Monday to award Salgado with a giant check for $3 million, and the store with one for $10,000 for selling the winning ticket.
“Oh my God, that is me!” Salgado exclaimed as she looked at her name on the check. “My mother always told me ‘you never know, pay the extra dollar for the Megaplier.’ I guess she was right!”
Otto said that there is no conflict of interest in the fact that Delgado purchased the winning ticket from a store in which she is a part owner. “Some stores implement internal policies about allowing employees to purchase tickets from the stores in which they work or own, but from the Virginia Lottery’s perspective, it is perfectly acceptable,” she said.
Salgado said she plans to keep working at the family store, and that even on the day she discovered she had won, she continued her 8-hour shift there.
“I don’t have any big plans,” she said. “I’m still going to work here. I think the family is just going to pay off the mortgage, the school loans, some debt, you know.”
Because Salgado is single, her brother said he is going to closely scrutinize all his sister’s potential suitors. “They are all going to have to come through me now,” he said.