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Woman showing friend ‘how to play’ wins $1 million Va. lottery

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Posted at 1:32 PM, Mar 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-21 13:35:14-04

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. — That’s what friends are for, right?

Merry Thomas had just finished work when she took her friend Julie to the Giant Food at 35 Town and Country Road in Fredericksburg.

There she showed Julie how to work a Virginia Lottery self-service machine and scan the ticket to see if it was a winner.

It was!

Julie’s ticket won $12.

Merry’s ticket won $1 million, according to Virginia Lottery officials.

“Right in front of my eyes I saw this woman turn into a puddle,” Julie said.

“I’ve been freaking out since then!” Merry said as she claimed her big check.

By winning the top prize in the 20X the Money game, Merry had a choice of taking the full $1 million prize over 30 years or a one-time cash option of $630,915 before taxes. She chose the cash.

“I just feel so fortunate,” she said. “It’s unbelievable!”