When state Del. Riley E. Ingram scratched off the lottery tickets he bought a few weeks ago at the Virginia Pork Festival in Emporia, he didn't realize what he had won until his 10-year-old grandson, Parker, figured it out.
"He said, 'Grandaddy! You won a Jeep,'?" Ingram, R-Hopewell, told a crowd that gathered Friday in the showroom of Crossroads Chrysler Jeep Dodge for a news conference held by the Virginia Lottery.
The longtime lawmaker is the soon-to-be owner of a new Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, which he won on a $5 scratcher he bought June 12.
Parker said Ingram didn't believe him at first, and he took the ticket over to the lottery workers who had set up at the festival.
"Then he started to believe because they were all cheering," Parker said.
"I think his winning a Jeep is just proof that anybody can win the lottery," said Paula Otto, the executive director of the state lottery.
Ingram said that because he's conservative, he was going to sell the Jeep to avoid having to pay taxes on the prize, but when he learned that the titling tax and other costs would be taken care of, as they are for all winners, he decided to keep it.
"I was thinking, this is not 'The Price Is Right,'?" he said. "Because when you win all that stuff on TV, you have to sell half of it or more to pay taxes with. But that was a wonderful win and was really a lot of fun."
Ingram, who'll get the Jeep next month and intends to drive it, opted for a deep cherry red color with black fenders.
"I mean red red," he said. "And black interiors."
Ingram usually drives back and forth from the General Assembly in a 1992 Ford pickup.
"They will sure be shocked when they see me coming up," he said, adding that he'll keep the pickup because he still needs "the truck part."
Ingram's wife, Mary Ann Brinkley, died in 2009, but he had plenty of family members on hand Friday to help celebrate his win.
"She would be real happy," Brenda Brockwell, Ingram's sister, said of the lawmaker's late wife.
Brockwell said she has never known anyone to win anything before.
"He's a genuine, down-to-earth person," she said of her brother. "He's truly grateful."
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