CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia Lottery Director John Musgrave introduced the “Fabulous Five,” a group of five co-workers from the Kanawha County Emergency Ambulance Authority, as the state’s latest winners of a $1 million Mega Millions® prize at a press conference in Charleston, Wednesday.
The group, which was playing the lottery as an office pool for the first time, consists of Brenda Rader of South Charleston, Carla Curry of Marmet, Jordan Williams of Shrewsbury, Deborah Rutherford of St. Albans, and Carolyn Charnock of Charleston.
“What a wonderful way to start off 2015. We could not be happier for these ladies,” Musgrave said. “Calendar year 2014 was a record setting year for West Virginia Lottery players with an incredible 13 tickets valued at $1 million or more sold in our state and hopefully this is an indication that 2015 will be memorable as well.”
Rader purchased their lucky ticket, which matched five numbers from the January 9, 2015 Mega Millions® drawing, at One Stop 101 in South Charleston. Had they paid an extra $1 for the Megaplier option, their prize of $1 million would have increased to $5 million, because the Megaplier number for Friday was 5x. One Stop will receive a sales bonus of $10,000 for selling the ticket. Ironically, the lucky ticket was purchased at exactly 1:01 p.m. on Wednesday.
“I am just glad that I played and that we won,” Rader said. “When the jackpot gets high I usually play twice a week, but this was the first time that we ever purchased lottery tickets as an office pool. We were just happy to win something.”
The group of co-workers each contributed $5 for a total purchase of 25 tickets.
Williams, a December graduate of WVU-Tech, made her first student loan payment on the same day she gave Rader her $5 for the tickets. “I will not be making any more loan payments or paying another day of interest now, that’s for sure,” Williams said.
Curry said that she had played the lottery off and on, but had never won anything of note. “You always wonder if it is for real and now I know that it is!” Rutherford added, “Anyone can win. It is just amazing!”
This most recent ticket is the 14th ticket from the Multi-State Lottery games of Powerball® and Mega Millions® to be sold in West Virginia since January of 2014 that is worth $1 million or more. West Virginia sold a record 13 tickets from MUSL games that were worth $1 million or more in 2014. Eleven of those 13 wins were from the Powerball® game.
While odds of winning do not change based on location, the probability of winning a prize of a million or more from these popular games was better in West Virginia than anywhere in the country in 2014. With a population of only 1.8 million, West Virginia produced one million-dollar plus winner from MUSL games per every 138,461 people in the state.