Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

December 21, 2012

W.Va. Lottery makes 6 new millionaires in 2012

Associated Press

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia Lottery players have been lucky this year, with six becoming new millionaires before the end of 2012. That's more than any other year since the Lottery began in 1986.

West Virginia Lottery officials introduced the latest million-dollar winner, 65-year-old contractor Terry Brumfield, on Friday in Charleston.

Brumfield bought a ticket at the Little General store in the Lincoln County town of Harts earlier this week then matched five Powerball numbers Wednesday night.

"I have played the lottery a long time," he said, "and I figured one of these days I might get my share of something big."

He knew at 11 p.m. that he'd won and went to bed with the ticket in his pocket.

"When I woke up, my wife asked if I had bought any tickets at the Little General and if I had checked mine. I said, 'Yes and yes,'" Brumfield said. "She then said, 'Well, the news says that someone won a million dollars.' That's when I said to her, 'Yes, me.'"

But Brumfield said he won't be retiring.

"I am going to keep working," he said. "In fact, when I leave here, I am going to work."

The other five new millionaires this year are: John Wiles of Tunnelton; Vietnam veterans and Weston residents Michael Shaver and Ronald Simmons; Judy Price of Fairview; and John Robinson of Beckley.

West Virginia joined the Powerball game in 1992, and state residents have since won more than $524 million in prizes.

Tickets now cost $2, a change made with an eye to creating more winners.

"When we launched this, we said we wanted it to be more winners with bigger jackpots and better odds," said marketing director Nikki Orcutt, "and I think we've proven that."

Since July 1, revenue from Powerball, MegaMillions and scratch-off tickets has exceeded projections by more than $12 million.

Sales for November alone were $6 million higher than expected, largely because of a record $587 million jackpot. The day of the drawing, Orcutt said, retailers were selling 130,000 tickets per minute.

West Virginia's four racetrack casinos, however, are struggling under growing competition from other states, said Jim Toney, deputy director of finance.

Overall Lottery revenues of $109.5 million for November were down $4.4 million from the same period last year, Toney said Thursday.

Slot machines at the casinos are the single largest source of revenue for the Lottery, and that revenue was down $8.6 million from November 2011 to $50.6 million last month, Toney said.

But limited video lottery — the slot machines in video poker bars around the state — is doing slightly better than last year.

Toney said the 1,494 clubs and bars generated $32.3 million last month, up about $400,000 from November 2011.