Cumberland man with an itchy hand claims $99 million Mega Millions jackpot
Lewis Howard was sitting at home watching TV when his right hand began itching. The Cumberland man remembered his mother telling him an itching hand meant money was coming. That’s when he went out and bought $5 of Mega Millions tickets for the May 17 drawing.One of those five tickets matched all six numbers to win the jackpot. He took it all in stride.”I thought, ‘Okay, so I have all six numbers,’” he later said. “I really wasn’t that excited.”Mr. Howard’s ticket was one of two nationwide to split the $198 million jackpot in the May 17 drawing. The other ticket was bought in New Jersey. The winning numbers were 11-15-35-43-49 and the Mega Ball number was 41. Mr. Howard selected his numbers at random.He bought the winning ticket at Food Lion, 1592 South Main Street in Farmville. The store received a $50,000 bonus from the Lottery for selling the winning ticket.On October 31, Mr. Howard received his check from Virginia Lottery Executive Director Paula Otto. He had a choice of taking the full jackpot in 30 annual payments or a one-time cash option of $73.3 million before taxes. He chose the cash option.”I’m just an ordinary person,” the retired HVAC technician said. “I’m still the same person.”Mr. Howard waited more than five months to claim his prize. Had he not claimed it, the ticket would have expired on November 13. Mr. Howard considers himself a thoughtful man and waited so he could make good decisions with his new-found winnings.
“We commend Mr. Howard for taking his time to assemble a team of financial and legal advisors,” said Ms. Otto. “This is Virginia’s seventh Mega Millions jackpot win, and the fifth-largest prize ever awarded by the Virginia Lottery.”
Mr. Howard has two grown children and three grandchildren. A private man, he enjoys reading and cooking.
So what does the future hold for Mr. Howard? He said there’s a good chance of a cruise on the horizon. One thing is certain though: He’ll continue playing Mega Millions and other Virginia Lottery games. “It’s my hobby,” he said.
| Coffee Stop Leaves Camdenton Man’s Cup Overflowing with Cash
Not only will a Camdenton couple benefit from winning $250,000 on a Missouri Lottery Mega Millions ticket, but so will their family and friends. Timothy Hall used Quick Pick to match all five white-ball numbers drawn on Oct. 11, earning the 59-year-old a quarter of a million dollar payday.”My truck was getting worked on, so I stopped to get a cup of coffee,” Hall explained, referring to a trip to Signal Food Store, 134 E. Highway 54, in Camdenton. “I bought some other Lottery tickets while I was there, and the girl working said, ‘We sold a big one last week. Make sure you check your tickets, if you haven’t.’”The reminder promoted Hall to scan his Mega Millions tickets from the early-October drawing.”I went and got them (tickets), and went back to the store and checked it out,” he continued. “The $250,000 flashed up on the screen. It was a happy day!”Hall immediately called his wife, Shannon, who he teased, “was too busy saving lives that day” as an emergency room nurse to meet him at the store.”She couldn’t get off work, so I had to wait until she got home at 7:30 p.m. to really celebrate,” he recalled.While claiming the prize at Lottery headquarters in Jefferson City, the Halls admitted that the “best part” about the win is how the windfall will help their four children.
“It (win) means we can give some money to our kids,” Timothy said, noting the prize will help their family with home expenses and college tuition bills. “We (Timothy and Shannon) really don’t need anything.”
The Halls plan to “have some fun,” too.
“We’re going to rent a party bus and take all of our friends out to dinner and have a party,” Timothy beamed. “That’s the most fun about this â€“ being able to share it. It’s not for what we get, but for what we get to give.”
When asked if he’d ever won a Missouri Lottery prize before, Timothy declared, “I won Shannon! That’s the biggest prize I’ve won!”
Timothy summed up the entire experience with some advice for other players: “Play the game,” he started. “You never know what’s going to happen.”