While everyone else recovered after a plentiful Thanksgiving dinner, Maria Johnson, a Hampton resident, was anxiously waiting for Monday morning — the day she could finally claim her $400,000 prize at the Virginia Lottery office.
“I couldn’t sleep the first night,” Johnson said. “So, I called my family in West Virginia and told them they had to come.”
Shoppers inside Kroger on Coliseum Drive wouldn’t have realized Johnson had just hit it big on a “Monopoly Multiplier” as she simply “signed the back of the ticket and quietly walked out of the store.”
Prizes for the Monopoly Multiplier game start at $5 but Johnson beat out the slim-to-none odds (1 in 1,836,000) by winning the top prize, according to officials at the Virginia Lottery.
“This is the third top prize claimed in this game, which means one more $400,000 ticket remains unclaimed,” they said.
Since 1999, the state-operated lottery’s profits have been gone back towards K-12 public education in Virginia with nearly $650 million, or 28.3 percent of sales, making up about 10 percent of the state’s entire education budget in Fiscal Year 2019, according to The Virginia Lottery’s website.
More than $15.6 million of those profits went to public education in Hampton during that time, officials said.
“An additional $6.5 million in unclaimed prizes was deposited in the Virginia Literary Fund in FY19, which provides low-interest loans to localities for public school construction, renovations, and technology upgrades,” officials said.
For more information about The Virginia Lottery and its recent winners, click here.