Powerball winners flash million-dollar smiles

Posted at 1:16 PM, Dec 07, 2012
and last updated 2012-12-07 13:18:22-05

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) - The city of Richmond is home to two new millionaires. Two men came forward Friday to cash in their $1 million Powerball tickets.

Louis Daniels, a retired U.S. Army sergeant major, purchased his winning ticket last month at the Kroger on North Lombardy Street. He said he almost had a heart attack when he checked the winning numbers online.

"I read those numbers and my heart almost stopped," Daniels said. "I immediately dropped and said a good prayer. It has finally happened to me."

Daniels said he planned to use the money to get out of debt, pay off his mortgage and start a college fund for his grandchildren.

"I am so elated. I can do so many things for the family," he said.

Ron Peyton, a retired Reynolds Metals worker, said he almost fainted when he realized he won $1 million.

Peyton bought his winning ticket this week at the Ocean Grocery on Church Hill, but forgot to check the numbers when he woke up the next day.

"I was looking at the news and I heard someone said that a million dollar ticket was sold in Richmond," he recalled." [I] still didn't pay it too much mind until they said Venable Street. Then I said 'wait a minute. I bought a ticket from there last night.'"

Peyton said he planned to enjoy the winnings with his fiancee. He said he had fun breaking the good news to her.

"Baby, you're going to have to find a way to spend a million dollars," he said to her after he realized he'd won. "She laughed as if I was joking. I said, 'I'm no joking, I'm serious. I hit the lottery.'"

At the check presentation ceremony, Virginia Lottery Executive Director Paula Otto noted six $1 million Powerball tickets have been sold in Virginia over the last two weeks.