Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

August 31, 2012

Time running out: $250,000 lottery ticket still unclaimed in Tazewell County

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

SPRINGVILLE, Va. — A lottery ticket sold in Tazewell County worth $250,000 will soon expire if the winner doesn’t step forward to claim his or her prize.

John Hagerty, a spokesman with the Virginia Lottery, said the winning Mega Millions ticket was bought for the March 30 drawing at the Valero Fas Mart on Route 19-460 in the Springville area.

“The winning numbers for that drawing were 2-4-23-38-46 and the Mega Ball was 23,” Hagerty said. “The ticket matched the first five numbers and missed only the Mega Ball number. The ticket expires at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 26, which is the close of business. Winning tickets expire 180 days after the drawing in Virginia. A lot of laws differ from state to state, so laws may be different in West Virginia.”

Hagerty said the owner of the winning ticket sold in the Springville area is asked to contact the Virginia Lottery immediately at 276-676-5540 or 804-692-7000.

The odds of winning the $250,000 prize in Mega Millions are 1 in 3,904,701.

Hagerty said high jackpots often draw in people who do not regularly participate in the lottery.

“The March 30 drawing had the largest jackpot ever at $656 million,” he said. “There was jackpot fever all over, and when the jackpot is very high like that we see a lot of people buying tickets who don’t normally play. Whoever bought this ticket might not have realized you can win a prize even if you don’t match all six numbers. You can win a prize even if you just match a couple of numbers.”

In the last year alone, Hagerty said millions in lottery prize money has gone unclaimed.

“During the last fiscal year we had $11.3 million go unclaimed in Virginia,” he said. “Most of those are the smaller prizes but we do occasionally get the big ones like this going unclaimed. By law, unclaimed winnings in Virginia go to the Literary Fund, which is used solely for educational funds like school construction, renovations and teacher retirement funding. Since its inception in 1988, the lottery has transferred more than $222 million in unclaimed prizes to Virginia’s Literary Fund.”

The ticket sold in Tazewell County was one of five $250,000 prize winners during the March 30 drawing.

“There is really no telling where geographically a winning ticket is going to pop up,” Hagerty said. “In Mega Millions, everything depends on the numbers that are drawn. Geographically there is no telling. There were five tickets in Virginia that won the $250,000 prize during the March 30 drawing in Fredericksburg, Richmond, Vinton, Virginia Beach and North Tazewell.”

The Virginia Lottery generates $1.3 million per day for schools across Virginia or approximately 8 percent of the state funding for public education. The lottery operates solely on revenue from the sale of lottery products rather than tax dollars and generated more than $487 million for schools in Virginia during the last fiscal year.

— Contact Kate Coil at