RICHMOND, Va. — Leonard Jones sat down with a cup of coffee and the newspaper, his normal routine. But this was to be no routine morning for the Richmond man.
As Jones read the paper, he discovered he had the winning numbers for the previous night’s Powerball drawing.
“I said, ‘Oh, me! Let me look again!’” he recalled. “Then I went and woke up my wife. I was shaking!”
Mr. Jones matched the first five numbers in the June 29 Powerball drawing to win $1 million. The only number he missed was the Powerball number.
The winning numbers were 23-29-37-60-64, and the Powerball number was 6. He used Easy Pick and allowed the computer to randomly select the numbers on his ticket. If he had matched that final number, the Powerball number, he would have won a jackpot estimated at $222 million.
The winning ticket was bought at the 7-Eleven at 3600 West Cary Street in Richmond, which will receive a $10,000 bonus from the Virginia Lottery.
His ticket was one of just three nationwide to match the first five numbers in Wednesday’s drawing, and the only one in Virginia.
Mr. Jones, a retired landscaper, was self-employed for 27 years. “This will make my retirement easier,” he said.
Powerball drawings are held at 10:59 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays. The odds of winning the $1 million prize are 1 in 11,688,054. Mr. Jones is the seventh Virginia Lottery player to win the $1 million prize so far in 2016.
Lottery officials said in the press release that lottery sales generate more than $1.4 million per day for Virginia’s K-12 public schools. However, ultimately the lottery has no control over how the General Assembly spends lottery proceeds on educational programs.
Some educators are angry because they believe not enough state lottery money ends up in local coffers but is instead diverted to help pay for state programs.
They argue it is being used as tax dollars, and instead of supplementing funding, the General Assembly is supplanting education. Educators said that the money is dropped into a general fund which allows lawmakers to use the money for a subset of educational programs like the foster care and the school breakfast programs.
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