Pike had two tickets with the same number on them and though she didn’t match all 6 numbers for a giganto-sized mega millions payday, she managed to score 5 out of 6 numbers on the tickets. Doing that pays out $1 million and since she had two tickets, she gets $2 million. How did she manage to get the winning number twice? Well, Pike used a very thoughtful strategy. She told ABC:
“I’m in shock!” Fike said in a news release from the Virginia lottery.
“I picked numbers based on my parents’ anniversary and their ages at that time, divided by the year they were married.
I just love the jackpot games and I play when I can afford it.”
In early April, Fike stopped at an Olde Stone Truck Stop in Virginia with her numbers ready and purchased two tickets.
The jackpot that week was at $80 million. In order to win the jackpot, the ticket holder has to match the five numbers and the sixth Powerball number.
After the drawing, it was announced that no one had won the jackpot, but 14 people nationwide had matched five of the numbers and were entitled to $1 million prizes each. Two of the winning tickets were in Virginia.
Pike was in the hospital keeping her mother company.
“I saw a scroll on TV about there being two $1 million winners. I looked at my mom and said ‘Wouldn’t it be funny if it was us?'” she said.
When she stopped by a convenience store, Pike had the clerk check her tickets and she discovered that she had won both of Virginia’s $1 million prizes.
Per Virginia state lottery rules, winners split the jackpot, regardless of how many there are, but non-jackpot prizes from matching part of the winning sequence are not split and can be won multiple times.
“It’s not that uncommon for people to buy tickets in games with the same number, but this is the biggest prize we’ve ever had in Virginia of two tickets in the same drawing,” Virginia Lottery spokesman John Hagerty told ABCNews.com.
Pike was presented with a check for $2 million on Friday at the truck stop where she purchased the ticket. Winners in Virginia are required to come forward and be identified. She will receive $1.4 million after taxes. The store also received a $200,000 bonus for selling the two winning tickets.
Pike did not respond to a request for comment from ABCNews.com.
For now, Virginia’s newest millionaire is basking in her shocking win.
“I must be dreaming,” Pike said. “I look forward to helping to take care of my parents and paying some bills.”