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Virginia Lottery winner has three minutes to fill grocery shopping cart

Sep 20, 2018, 10:39 am

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Virginia LotteryVirginia Lottery: Virginia Lottery winner has three minutes to fill grocery shopping cartRating:

Hands gripping the handle of a shopping cart, Jeff Marsten stood poised behind a black-and-white checkered strip of tape near the entrance of the Weis Markets on Deacon Road at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

"Give me a countdown to 10 seconds," Kim McGregor said to Angela Beachy.

"Ten, nine, eight," began Beachy. When she reached one, the 63-year-old Stafford County man was off and running down the coffee aisle. Right behind were the two women, who work for Weis, along with representatives from the Virginia Lottery and several customers, including his wife, Donna McCracken.

"Let's go, Jeff!" they cheered.

Marsten reached first for boxes of Dunkin' donuts K-cups and Folgers coffee, which he tossed into the cart.

His goal?

To fill it with $750 worth of groceries in three minutes, a prize he'd won in Virginia Lottery's Mega Grocery Shopping Dash. He could select anything except alcohol, tobacco, gift cards or money orders.

McGregor, Weis's director of customer experience, followed close behind him, shooting video with her iPhone for Weis and adding commentary.

"He's a man on a mission," she said. "I think Jeff likes coffee."

Marsten grabbed some creamer for him and his wife, and a couple bottles of Hershey's syrup for their 3-year-old nephew. Then he headed over to the seafood section for bags of shrimp.

"Two minutes left, Jeff," McGregor cautioned.

Marsten, who'd been rear-ended in a car crash Friday and was suffering from back pain, whipped his cart over to the meat section to pick up steaks and cuts of pork destined for the family's freezer.

"Jeff may be grilling this weekend," McGregor said. "Value packs. Way to go!"

Marsten headed down another aisle and began grabbing a host of other items, including Hot Pockets, to round out his run.

"Thirty seconds, Jeff!" McGregor cried. "Thirty seconds, Jeff!"

He added the last few items into the basket, then took off for the checkered tape with five seconds left. He crossed it to the sound of cheers just as his time was up.

"Did you get everything on your wife's list?" McGregor asked.

"Yes," Marsten said, slightly breathless. "Everything I wanted was on the low shelves."

The final total, after he scanned his Weis rewards card, was $542.12. He got the rest, $207.88, on Weis gift cards, along with nearly 500 in Weis reward points.

"That will be the benchmark for the dashes," said Jane Allen, Virginia Lottery's business development manager. She plans to use footage from the GoPro camera strapped to the front of Marsten's cart to promote the lottery.

This is the first year that the independent state agency, whose profits go to K–12 public education, has offered the Mega Grocery Shopping Dash. It was inspired by "Supermarket Sweep," a TV game show that featured a live, timed race through a supermarket.

Virginia Lottery teamed up with six grocery chains, including Weis Markets and Food Lion, for its version. It was open to anyone who'd purchased $10 or more in Mega Millions tickets through a promotion that ran from June 1 to July 6 at participating grocery stores. Information at the end of the receipts had to be entered in the My Game Room section of Virginia Lottery's website.

Two $750 winners were chosen for each grocery chain, and a total of 174 gift cards worth $250 each went to second-place winners at all the chains.

Kira Towle of Stafford is the other Mega Grocery Shopping Dash winner at a Weis Markets location. She'll do her dash Tuesday at the Weis Markets at 2612 Jefferson Davis Highway. Six other area residents won $250 Weis Markets gift cards in the promotion.

The Food Lion winners live in the Richmond area, and Allen said that her office hasn't been able to set the dates with the company. Salisbury, N.C.-based Food Lion is too busy dealing with issues relating to Hurricane Florence.

Marsten, a building supervisor for Rockingham Construction Co., said he plays the lottery a lot but has never won more than a few dollars at a time. He didn't think he'd won anything this time after checking the list of winners on valottery.com. It listed a Jeffrey M. of Sterling, but he'd moved to Stafford. It didn't occur to him that he'd forgotten to change the address in his account on the website until Virginia Lottery contacted him by email.

"I went back and checked, and my name was there," he said.

Marsten and his wife normally shop at the Weis on U.S. 17, which is close to their home. That location closes Nov. 1, however, so he was told that he could do his grocery dash at one of the other Weis Markets in Stafford.

He chose the one at 282 Deacon Road, and he and his wife checked it out Tuesday evening so they could plot his run. He said he planned to take his time and have fun with it, especially since he'd get gift cards if he didn't spend the entire $750. He ended up with three of them.

"We'll come back for sales," Marsten's wife said happily, as the cashier handed them over.

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Fredericksburg

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14 comments. Last comment 2 years ago by sweetie7398.
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music*'s avatar - DiscoBallGlowing
USN United States Navy
Fresno, California
United States
Member #157851
August 2, 2014
3959 Posts
Offline

Party Wow!  Celebration time.  What fun for all. 

 Hurricane Florence touched the N.C.-based Food Lion.

 "We are all in this together!" 

    Avatar
    Simpsonville
    United States
    Member #163184
    January 22, 2015
    2289 Posts
    Offline

    Another positive feel good story!  And we spell our first name the same, not Jeffery, ugh.

     

    Quite innovative of the Virginia Lottery, first time in memory that a lottery has offered a shopping spree.

      CDanaT's avatar - Nolz june15.jpg
      Central TN
      United States
      Member #121189
      January 4, 2012
      4777 Posts
      Offline

      Suffering from a rear end car accident from Friday and does the sprint,grab and pushes the filling cart of groceries for 3 minutes.... welllllllllllll, there goes your insurance settlementGreen laugh but man oh man are you going to eat well 

      Integrity: There is just no substitute.

        music*'s avatar - DiscoBallGlowing
        USN United States Navy
        Fresno, California
        United States
        Member #157851
        August 2, 2014
        3959 Posts
        Offline

        Suffering from a rear end car accident from Friday and does the sprint,grab and pushes the filling cart of groceries for 3 minutes.... welllllllllllll, there goes your insurance settlementGreen laugh but man oh man are you going to eat well 

        I am wondering why he did not choose to receive the whole amount in gift cards. Maybe the shopping spree was mandatory. 

         "We are all in this together!" 

          Cassie8620's avatar - oGH0ok
          California
          United States
          Member #180566
          March 13, 2017
          4343 Posts
          Offline

          Suffering from a rear end car accident from Friday and does the sprint,grab and pushes the filling cart of groceries for 3 minutes.... welllllllllllll, there goes your insurance settlementGreen laugh but man oh man are you going to eat well 

          I am glad to read this today. I am smiling. This is nice to see, and lol C-Dana ha ha. yep.

           

          congrats though. nice story.

          13G's!+ total (2019)& P4 total >>>  22,000!(So Far in 2020!)  Time 2 break the bank, baby!Banana 0131 0068 0809     

          0518 0159 6442 0305 0306,1020,1021, 4766 4667 7664 1061 1106,1120,1211, 1212,1031 1034,1035 1038,1140 1141,1177 1215, 1301, 1310 3100, 3101, 7678 7897, 7898 8768 8486  4764 4774 6747 7466 7664  7640, 1129, 1114 1177 1569 1623 5910 2600 1711 1850 3009 4764 1140,1411,4774 7077 7462 7467 6159, 6230 6231 3533, 5592,5593, 5925,9335 9615.

            Avatar
            Simpsonville
            United States
            Member #163184
            January 22, 2015
            2289 Posts
            Offline

            I am glad to read this today. I am smiling. This is nice to see, and lol C-Dana ha ha. yep.

             

            congrats though. nice story.

            Something told me to look @ the #'s bottom of your post and there it is my birthday.  Where did you get those #'s from??

              CDanaT's avatar - Nolz june15.jpg
              Central TN
              United States
              Member #121189
              January 4, 2012
              4777 Posts
              Offline

              Wow Bleudog... I wasn't aware your birthday was 4-8-27

              Integrity: There is just no substitute.

                sully16's avatar - sharan
                25
                Ringleader
                Michigan
                United States
                Member #81738
                October 28, 2009
                76977 Posts
                Offline

                Congrats to the lucky guy, this sounds like fun, I could $750 easy.

                Winter is coming !   Ned Stark.

                  Avatar
                  Florida
                  United States
                  Member #186825
                  January 2, 2018
                  293 Posts
                  Offline

                  This article reminds me of the game show "Supermarket Sweep". Any one remember that game?

                    Avatar
                    Simpsonville
                    United States
                    Member #163184
                    January 22, 2015
                    2289 Posts
                    Offline

                    This article reminds me of the game show "Supermarket Sweep". Any one remember that game?

                    Yes, however vaguely...please don't ask me who the host was...too long ago.

                      Avatar
                      Chasing $ Millions.
                      White Shores- California
                      United States
                      Member #136473
                      December 12, 2012
                      6339 Posts
                      Offline

                      Should have gotten 10 minutes of shopping, to really make it count. There are some people out there, who cannot parrelel park in 3 minutes.

                       * Voice of Reason *   

                       

                      People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it- George Bernard Shaw.

                        Avatar
                        DMV
                        United States
                        Member #183847
                        August 18, 2017
                        284 Posts
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                        Yes, however vaguely...please don't ask me who the host was...too long ago.

                        Hey Bleu.....who was the host?

                          Avatar
                          Simpsonville
                          United States
                          Member #163184
                          January 22, 2015
                          2289 Posts
                          Offline

                          Wikipedia said the ABC version was Bill Malone and don't remember him @ all.

                            sweetie7398's avatar - flower2
                            100

                            United States
                            Member #22701
                            September 30, 2005
                            13404 Posts
                            Offline

                            3 minutesROFL

                            Life, love, family Love