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Virginia woman wins $1 million Powerball prize by mistake

Miriam Long wanted to buy a Mega Millions ticket. The Mega Millions jackpot was getting a lot of attention with an estimated $893 million jackpot, and the Christiansburg woman wanted to get in the game.

However, when she went to the Virginia Lottery machine at the CVS at 1775 South Main Street in Blacksburg, she accidently hit the button for a Powerball ticket.

That “accidental” ticket ended up matching the first five winning numbers in the March 18 Powerball drawing to win $1 million.

“It’s the best mistake of my life!” she told Lottery officials.

The winning numbers were 10-17-20-39-44, and the Powerball number was 16. The only number she didn’t match was the Powerball number. She used Easy Pick and allowed the computer to randomly select the numbers on her ticket.

She’s not the only winner. Retailers that sell a $1 million winning ticket receive a $10,000 bonus from the Virginia Lottery.

When she discovered how much she’d won, Ms. Long said she couldn’t believe it.

“My heart was pounding!” she said. “It’s overwhelming!”

All Virginia Lottery profits go to K-12 education in Virginia. Ms. Long lives in Montgomery County, VA, which received more than $5.3 million in Lottery funds for K-12 education last fiscal year. In Fiscal Year 2023, the Lottery raised more than $867 million for K-12 education, making up approximately 10 percent of Virginia’s total K-12 school budget.