Powerball lottery, Virginia

Virginia Woman Wins $50K Powerball With Fortune Cookie Numbers

Tierra Barley almost lost her chances at the $50,000 Powerball victory after she left her ticket in the store.

A stroke of good fortune from numbers once found in a fortune cookie has awarded Henrico County resident Tierra Barley a staggering $50,000 Powerball prize this month.

In the May 8 drawing, Barley’s lottery ticket matched four of the first five numbers along with the Powerball number, which the Virginia Lottery revealed were 7-41-43-44-51, and the Powerball number was 5. However, Barley’s big win nearly slipped through her grasp when she almost misplaced the winning ticket right before the drawing.

She recounted to lottery officials what was almost a tough loss after she had mistakenly abandoned her newly purchased ticket from Varina Superstore Supermarket on Darbytown Road store when she ventured out to take her daughter to a nearby park. Fortunately, upon her return, a fellow customer was in the midst of purchasing Powerball entries and graciously assisted Barley in recovering the misplaced ticket.

The Virginia Lottery website notes that the odds of matching all six numbers to win the jackpot are 1 in 292.2 million, while the “overall odds of winning any Powerball prize are 1 in 25.” This windfall marks a significant contribution towards education in the state, as the lottery proudly declares, “All Virginia Lottery profits go to K-12 education in Virginia.” Their “Giving Back” page affirms, “At the Virginia Lottery, we take playing seriously. Fun matters. Excitement matters. And so does the education of Virginia’s youngest residents.”

The impact is substantial, with Henrico County alone receiving over $30.7 million in Lottery funds that were allocated to K-12 education last fiscal year. The Lottery accumulated a remarkable $867 million for K-12 education in fiscal year 2023. The funds comprised around 10% of Virginia’s total budget for the state’s K-12 programs.

This educational allocation stems from a 1987 voter referendum to establish a state-run lottery. Proceeds were initially directed towards capital projects before taking an educational turn in 1999 when a state budget amendment mandated the funds be channeled directly to local public school districts. This directive garnered support from Virginians the following year, with over 80% of voters approving the creation of the State Lottery Proceeds Fund.

Powerball drawings are held on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays at 10:59 p.m.

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