When Dave Honeywell returned to Richmond International Airport from a business trip, he walked past the Virginia Lottery's two Lottery Express machines in the atrium. Above them, he saw a banner proclaiming that a jackpot-winning ticket had been bought there. The Fredericksburg man smiled to himself and kept walking. The winning ticket was in his pocket.
Mr. Honeywell matched all six numbers in the February 6 Powerball drawing to win the $217 million jackpot. The winning numbers were 5-27-36-38-41 and Powerball number 12. He bought the ticket a few days earlier, as he was leaving on the business trip. He used Easy Pick, allowing the computer to randomly select the numbers on his ticket.
The next morning, as he prepared for a meeting in Denver, he checked the winning numbers on the Lottery's website and immediately called his wife, Nancy. "I think my heart has started beating again," he said.
"I thought he might be having a heart attack," she later told Lottery officials.
On February 14, the Honeywells returned to the spot where the winning ticket was bought to receive their check from Virginia Lottery Executive Director Paula Otto. They had a choice of taking the full jackpot in 30 annual payments or a one-time cash option of $136.4 million before taxes. They chose the cash option.
"We're delighted to present the second-largest prize ever awarded by the Virginia Lottery to Dave and Nancy Honeywell," said Otto. "In addition to this great prize, sales of Powerball tickets in Virginia for the 12 drawings leading up to February 6 generated more than $4 million in profits for Virginia's K-12 public schools."
This is Virginia's first Powerball jackpot win. Seven Mega Millions jackpots have been won in Virginia.
Dave and Nancy both work for the Department of Defense. He's a computer scientist and she's a project manager. Although he lives about halfway between Richmond and Washington, he said he prefers to use Richmond International Airport for his frequent business travel because of the ease and convenience.
What does the future hold? Neither Dave nor Nancy have immediate plans to quit their jobs. He said he doesn't want to quit because he's in the middle of an important project. However, his 13-year-old car with 170,000 miles could soon be history.