CHARLESTON, W.Va. - West Virginia Lottery Director John Musgrave introduced Robert Carter of Poca as West Virginia’s newest millionaire at a press conference in Charleston this morning.
“I have been playing the lottery a long time and the most I have ever won until now is seven dollars,” Carter said. “It is an amazing feeling.”
Carter purchased two easy pick tickets at the Go Mart (#83) in Poca and missed only the Powerball number on his match-5 winner. The numbers drawn for Saturday, August 2, were 12-26-44-46-47 and the Powerball number was 29. Had hespent an extra $1 for the Powerplay option – he would have won $2 million instead of $1 million.
He actually found out that he had won from his family.
“I actually found out while driving to visit my sister. I had gotten in one of those dark spots, where you can’t get any reception and as soon as I got out of that I must have had 100 calls from my wife and daughter that we had won five numbers out of six.”
This most recent ticket is the 12th ticket from the Multi-State Lottery games of Powerball® and Mega Millions® to be sold in West Virginia this calendar year worth $1 million or more. That figure is a record for the state that eclipses the previous high of five that was set just last year. Ten of the 12 wins have come 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 is better in West Virginia than anywhere in the country thus far in 2014. With a population of only 1.8 million, West Virginia is producing one million-dollar plus winner per every 150,000 people in the state.
“We have had an exceptional year,” Musgrave said. “Last year we had five winners of more than a million from the multi-state games and were proud of that, and now we have had 12 this calendar year. We enjoy making West Virginians millionaires.”
In addition to the 11 that were sold and have been claimed, $1 million prize from the February 12, 2014, Powerball® drawing that was sold in Wheeling went unclaimed. Under state law, players have 180 days from the date of a drawing to claim a prize or the ticket expires. That ticket unfortunately expired on August 11 and that prize money is now in our unclaimed prize fund where it will be returned to players in the form of prizes in future promotions and games.
Carter, who is retired from the military, says they plan to use the money to pay off their home, pay some bills and to travel. His wife Helen said that she and her husband enjoy visiting several of West Virginia’s State Parks and would like to travel to many of the State Parks they have not yet visited.