Last week, Gordon McKinney suddenly fell back in a chair at the Scott County Tobacco Co.
Those at the store thought he was having a heart attack.
But Gordon, of Chuckey, Tenn., realized that he won the top prize in the Virginia Lottery’s new scratch-off game, Set for Life. He will receive $2,000 a week, or $104,000 a year before taxes, for the rest of his life.
"It really hasn’t sunk in yet," said Gordon, who was holding his first $2,000 check.
Phil Hankey, the Virginia Lottery southwest regional manager, presented the check at the store Wednesday morning.
Many now believe the store near the Tennessee line in Scott County is lucky, Hankey said. Just a month ago, a couple from Church Hill, Tenn., won $5.6 million with a Lotto South ticket purchased there. Set for Life is one of about 50 scratch games offered by the Virginia Lottery. Prizes range from $10 a week to $2,000 a week for life.
The regional manager said the odds of winning are different for each scratch game. McKinney had a one-in-1.7 million chance of winning the Set for Life game, he said.
McKinney, who regularly buys lottery tickets at the store, won the first of three top prize-winning tickets available in Virginia.
"I’ve played the lottery for years, and I’ve tried different codes and figuring it out – forget it. You can’t do it," he said.
But McKinney must have a knack for picking winning numbers. In 1975, he said he won $10,000 in a Pennsylvania lottery.
"Everyone’s giving me advice on what to do," said McKinney, who is retired and single. "I know I want to get a new car."