VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A Virginia Beach man is pinching himself after purchasing a Virginia Lottery ticket, forgetting about it and finding out it’s worth $1 million.
Aubrey Barbour bought a Virginia’s New Year’s Millionaire Raffle ticket while visiting family in Lynchburg for Thanksgiving. He bought it at Speedway on Campbell Avenue when he stopped to get gas for the trip home.
On Jan. 1, his ticket was one of three top prize winners drawn in the raffle, but he didn’t know it. It wasn’t until Barbour looked for his checkbook that he found the ticket.
“Something just told me to go check it,” he said.
When he went to the Virginia Lottery’s customer service center in Hampton and realized how much his ticket was worth, he couldn’t believe it.
“I think I’m dreaming,” Barbour said.
His winning ticket, #283611, was one of three top prize winners in the Jan. 1 drawing. The other tickets were bought in Richmond and Bristow.
The ticket purchased in Bristow was claimed by Glenn and Pam Spilman within a week of the Jan. 1 drawing, and the winning ticket #111002 that was purchased at 7-Eleven on West Broad Street in Richmond is still unclaimed.
Barbour claimed the ticket a few weeks shy of the ticket’s expiration date. In Virginia, winning lottery tickets must be claimed within 180 days after the numbers were drawn. Each of the winning tickets announced on Jan. 1 will no longer be valid after the Virginia Lottery closes at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, June 30.
If the remaining ticket is not claimed, the prize money will go to the state Literary Fund. The Literary Fund is used entirely for educational purposes like upgrading technology in schools and funding teacher retirement.
Since the Virginia Lottery was founded in 1988, more than $262 million in unclaimed prizes have gone to the Virginia Literary Fund, and the Lottery generates more than $1.6 million daily for Virginia’s K-12 public schools.
In addition to the top three prize winners, six tickets won $25,000 each. Those tickets were bought in Charlottesville, Culpeper, Dumfries, Richmond, Rustburg and Yorktown. An additional 300 tickets each won $500.
Speedway receives a $10,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket.
Barbour, a retired Navy chief petty officer, has no immediate plans for the winnings.