Time to plan a return trip!
By Kate Northrop
A Virginia trucker drove all the way to Texas only to find out there that he was holding onto a winning ticket worth $1 million for the Virginia Lottery's New Year's Millionaire Raffle.
Berhane Meharena didn't check his Virginia Lottery raffle ticket until he was in Texas, and it was there that he discovered that he would have to drive all the way back to Virginia to claim it — not a bad tradeoff.
He was in his truck when he decided to check the winning numbers for the New Year's Millionaire Raffle, and that's when he found out his ticket was one of five $1 million winners.
"I was by myself in the truck," Meharena later told Lottery officials. "I was screaming!"
He then planned a return trip from Texas to Virginia so he could claim his prize.
It must have been the happiest drive of his life.
Unfortunately, he fell ill once he arrived in Virginia, so he had to wait until he felt better to present his winning ticket. Once he recovered, he visited the Lottery office in Woodbridge to make the claim.
"This was a lucky year!" the winner remarked.
Meharena, who lives in Arlington, Virginia, bought raffle ticket #485284 at Harris Teeter on South George Mason Drive in Arlington.
He did not have any plans for the prize at the top of his head when asked by Lottery officials what he intends to do with the winnings.
The other four $1 million winning raffle tickets were sold in Fredericksburg, Leesburg, Manassas, and Stafford. There were also seven winning tickets worth $100,000 in the raffle, as well as $1,000 tickets that won $500 each.
One of the ticketholders for a $100,000 prize was an environmental chemist who had won a significant prize in the annual raffle for the second time. That player claimed his winnings in January.