DANVILLE — Sunrise 6 store owner Brahim Ouaami had never sold a $1 million lottery ticket before at his business.
But that has changed since someone bought a winning Mega Millions ticket that matched the first five numbers but missed the Mega Ball number at his store at 2120 Franklin Turnpike in Danville.
"I hope it was one of our regular customers here," a happy Ouaami said during an interview at his business Wednesday morning.
The $1 million winning ticket was one of only two nationwide to match the first five numbers in Tuesday's drawing, according to a news release from the Virginia Lottery.
No ticket in Virginia or anywhere else in the country matched all six numbers to win the $277 million jackpot, which is now about $301 million for Friday night's drawing, according to the Virginia Lottery.
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The winning numbers were 9-21-28-30-52, and the Mega Ball number was 10, according to the Virginia Lottery.
Sunrise 6 customer Amy Wickham said of the sale of the ticket, "I think that's great."
While not a lottery player, the Danville resident said a winning ticket sold at the store she frequents may spur her to purchase a ticket.
"I would love to win the lottery," she said. "I need to play."
Sunrise customer and Mount Hermon resident Rose Mitchell said she participates in the lottery about every other day. She has won small amounts of money — up to $20 — in the past playing scratch-off games.
"This is my lucky store," Mitchell said while purchasing a lottery ticket.
A regular at Sunrise, Mitchell believed it was only a matter of time before the store sold a winning Mega Millions ticket.
"I knew they were going to catch it," she said. "They have some good fried chicken, on top of it."
It was the first $1 million ticket sold at the store in the four years Ouaami has owned it, he said. Winning $5,000 and $50,000 tickets have been bought there, he said. "But a million — never," Ouaami said.
He hopes the ticket's sale attracts more customers to Sunrise.
"We don't know what's going to happen tomorrow, but I hope so," said Ouaami, who was notified by the Virginia Lottery of the winning purchase Wednesday morning.
Whoever has the winning ticket has 180 days from the drawing date to claim the prize.
The Virginia Lottery advises that before doing anything else, the winner should immediately sign the back of the ticket to establish ownership. When the person is ready to claim the million-dollar prize, he or she should contact the Virginia Lottery.
Mega Millions drawings are held at 11 p.m. every Tuesday and Friday. They are livestreamed www.valottery.com. Odds of winning the $1 million prize in Mega Millions are 1 in 12.6 million according to lottery officials.
Virginia Lottery profits go to K-12 education in the state. Danville received more than $8.8 million in lottery money for K-12 education last fiscal year, according to lottery officials.
In fiscal year 2021-22, the lottery raised more than $779 million for K-12 education in the commonwealth, making up about 10% of the state's total K-12 budget, according to the Virginia Lottery.