State Lottery ticket in student’s Christmas stocking wins him $1 million

While Christmas presents can be unexpected, college students often receive the best surprise: the prize winning ticket for the lottery that he found in his stocking was $1 million.

Brian Donohue was a University of Virginia mathematics major who was selected as the lucky winner of Virginia Lottery’s Bank a Million game. Virginia Lottery released that Donohue was the winner of the December 22 drawing. The ticket was purchased by Donohue’s mother at Oakton’s Giant Food.

Donohue stated to lottery officials that he would use his winnings for school tuition.

Bank a Million is a lottery game that can only be played in Virginia. There are two drawings each week. The top prizes of the game are $1 million and $500,000, respectively, depending on how much the player earns on the ticket. The prize amount is paid after withholdings of federal and state taxes.

Officials with Virginia lottery stated that 1 in 3.8 Million people have a chance of winning the top prize.

The odds of winning any prize is 1 in 18.3.

Donohue was the mother of the ticket holder. She chose the numbers and purchased it. She chose the winning numbers and all of the numbers she selected matched. To win the top prize, it wasn’t necessary to choose a Bonus Ball number because they were matched.

Six numbers are available to choose from, ranging in size from one to 40. Players cannot choose the Bonus Ball number.

It is not the first time that a Virginia resident has won $1 million through a state lottery.

Dennis Willoughby is a North Chesterfield resident. He bought chocolate milk from a 7-11 location in Richmond, and added a scratch card to his purchase.

Willoughby chose to pay $640,205 upfront before taxes, rather than receiving the $1 million prize over 30 years.

Lottery profits are used to fund public schools that serve students in kindergarten through 12th grades, according to lottery officials. Since 1999, this policy has been in effect. The State Lottery Proceeds Fund, which was established in 2000, is now part of Virginia’s Constitution.

More than $11 Million has been donated to Virginia’s public schools since 1999.

Officials stated that the Virginia Lottery generated nearly $3.26 Billion in revenue for fiscal year 2021. Public education received more than $765 million, while prizes received more than $2.2B. State lottery ticket sellers received over $139 million, and $147 million for operational expenses.

The Literacy Fund provides low-interest loans to municipalities in Virginia for construction, renovations, and technology upgrades. The fund received $10.3 million in fiscal 2021.