The day after Garland Hare bought his Mega Millions ticket for the Nov. 1 drawing, he left for an overseas trip. It wasn’t until the Salem man arrived at his foreign destination that he discovered he’d matched the first five winning numbers to win $1 million.
“It was very unexpected!” he later told Virginia Lottery officials.
The winning numbers were 5-9-15-16-17, and the Mega Ball number was 25. The only number he didn’t match was the Mega Ball number. He selected his number using a combination of family birthdays and anniversaries.
He bought the ticket at Salem Mini Mart, located at 2319 West Main Street in Salem. The store receives a $10,000 bonus from the Lottery for selling the winning ticket.
The ticket was one of just seven nationwide to win the $1 million prize. Had he matched all six numbers, he would have won the $87 million jackpot for that drawing.
Hare, who works in computer programming, said he intends to pay bills with his winnings and do some more traveling.
Mega Millions drawings are held Tuesday and Friday nights at 11 p.m. The odds of matching the first five numbers in Mega Millions are 1 in 12,607,306. The odds of matching all six numbers to win the jackpot are 1 in 302,575,350.
All Virginia Lottery profits go to K-12 education in Virginia. Hare lives in Salem, which received more than $2.6 million in Lottery funds for K-12 education last fiscal year. In Fiscal Year 2022, the Lottery raised more than $779 million for K-12 education, making up approximately 10 percent of Virginia’s total K-12 school budget.
-The Salem Times-Register