CHARLESTON, W.V. — Larry Hughes of Kimball, West Virginia, may soon have relatives he never knew he had coming out to Kimball to visit him after winning $302,600 on Thursday night's Daily 4 drawing. West Virginia Lottery Director John Musgrave announced today that Hughes and his family came to Charleston on Friday to claim the prize.
Hughes played the numbers "1-2-3-4" 60 times on a straight bet, and the same numbers on a straight/box. Although he doesn't always bet $61, he bets the same numbers every day. The top prize in the Daily 4 is $5,000, but Hughes pushed his winnings over the $300,000 mark by betting the same numbers 61 times.
"This is a unique story," Randy Burnside, West Virginia Lottery public relations and drawing manager said. "We talked for about 20 minutes when he came up here to claim his winnings. He plays those same numbers every day, and from what I understand, he always plays at the Bantam Market in Welch."
"I play the 1-2-3-4 every day and I buy at least 60 tickets each day," Hughes was quoted as stating in a West Virginia Lottery press release. "I have been playing the West Virginia Lottery's Daily 4 game since it started and I never miss a day. I don't think you will find a better return on investment for $61 bucks."
Hughes, a contractor from Kimball, has won before with his lucky numbers, according to information supplied in a press release from the West Virginia Lottery. He won a total of $52,600 from the Daily 4 drawing on March 14, 2006 and he hit again for the same amount of winnings from the Jan. 12, 2008 drawing. Until Thursday, those were the only two times in the game's history that those numbers (1-2-3-4) popped out of the Daily 4 draw machine in numerical order, according to the W.Va. Lottery.
"I was working on a job in Bluefield and I sat down at 6:59 p.m., and told the guys that I hope my wife (Maria) calls in the next minute. If she does, our numbers came up. Then the phone rang and I didn't even have to answer to know what had happened." Kimball was quoted as stating in the Lottery Commission's press release.
"I don't know if he has any immediate plans," Burnside said. "He said that he and his wife were planning on taking a vacation. This might make a vacation a little better."
Burnside said that proceeds from the Lottery go to help education, projects for senior citizens, tourism, Homestead Exemptions, state parks and improvements for higher education, according to Burnside.