- Last Updated on 07:44 AM 01/06/14
- BY Special to The Gazette
“I’m elated! It’s surreal!” That’s how 24-year-old John Humphries III reacted to winning $1 million in Virginia’s New Year’s Millionaire Raffle. His ticket was one of three in the New Year’s Day drawing to win the million-dollar top prize.
The Danville man said he bought his ticket Monday at Apple Market, 3225 Halifax Road in South Boston and realized on New Year’s Day he had one of three winning numbers. On Friday, he traveled to Farmville where he received his check from Virginia Lottery Executive Director Paula Otto.
The store received a $10,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket.
“I’m still in disbelief,” Humphries said as he claimed his prize Friday.
Describing himself as being “very cynical,” Humphries said he bought several tickets, the whole time having the feeling nothing good would ever happen.
“I never buy anything expecting to win. I buy it for the hope and the conversations with friends about what you might do if you were to win it. Never did I think it would happen for real…it was just for the hope,” he added.
The winning ticket, No. 19966, was one of five tickets he bought for the Raffle. He realized he had a winning ticket shortly after the drawing, when he called the Virginia Lottery’s Player Information line. He said it took a while for the news to sink in.
“I had to call several times to confirm,” he said.
The small business owner said he prefers to keep his winnings as “anonymous as possible.”
Although he is not a native of the county, Humphries said he did live here for some time but mainly grew up in Northern Virginia.
The soon father-to-be of a little boy currently lives in Danville.
“Yeah, I’ve got a little boy on the way. He will be here in a couple of months,” Humphries said in a brief telephone conversation Friday.
With a child on the way, one can imagine he will find numerous uses for his winnings, but Humphries said he has no immediate plans for the money.
“I’m really not going to believe it until it gets deposited into my account,” he added.
His ticket was one of three million-dollar winners from the Jan. 1 drawing. The other two top-prize winners were bought in Clearbrook and Woodbridge. Six tickets won $25,000 each. Those tickets were bought in Alexandria, Harrisonburg, Lexington, Norfolk, Richmond and Skippers. An additional 300 tickets each won $500.