Clerk's second glance saved the day
By Kate Northrop
RICHMOND, Va. — A Virginia Lottery player was absolutely sure that her lottery tickets were "losers" so she threw them away, not realizing there was a winning ticket worth $100,000 among them.
Luckily for Maria Pollard of Chester, a lottery retailer clerk saved her from losing a tear-jerking $100,000 when she mistakenly tossed her tickets in the trash.
Pollard had stopped at the Walmart on Sheila Lane in Richmond and picked up three scratch-off's, one of which was a ticket from the $5 "Money Maker Crossword 5X" game.
She didn't realize it, but that ticket held the very first of six $100,000 top prizes waiting to be claimed. Instead, Pollard threw it in the trash. According to the player, none of the tickets she bought appeared to be winners when she scratched them.
A sales associate at the Walmart was in the right frame of mind to double check the tickets that the would-be winner threw out and told Pollard that one of them looked to be a winner.
What did Pollard have to lose? At most, $100,000, so she took a trip to a Lottery office to check it out. Turns out, the "losing" ticket wasn't a loser after all.
Now, the winner said, she'll hope to take her family on a vacation this year, something that might not have been possible were it not for the store clerk's eye for detail.
The "Money Maker Crossword 5X" game, which launched in June, is part of the Virginia Lottery's Crossword 5X series of scratch-off's. Now that Pollard claimed her prize, there are five top prizes of $100,000 remaining, as well as 44 out of 48 second prizes of $2,000 and 100 out of 117 third prizes of $500 left to claim.
The odds of winning the top prize in the game are about 1 in 1.22 million, while the odds of winning any prize are 1 in 3.83.