13 Lucky Number For Virgina Resident Who Wins Powerball’s $1million Powerplay Prize

Friday the 13th may be the day to buy another lottery ticket for Jeff McNew, 30, of Chesapeake, Virginia.

The first West Virginia Lottery player to win a $1 million cash prize under the new Powerball prize structure that went into effect the first week of January, McNew is the 13th player among the Powerball lotteries to win the prize.

“The fact is, the ticket I bought in the lounge of Embassy Suites had the number 13 on it; I was married on Feb. 13; I was born on Dec. 13; I won $3,000 on the 13th slot machine at Dover Downs in Delaware; and my Little League baseball jersey had the number 13 on it,” McNew said.

Employed by Verizon, McNew said he comes to Charleston on business every two weeks. “That’s the only time I buy Powerball tickets, and being a bit superstitious, I always buy them from the same bartender. She was the one who suggested I buy the dollar extra PowerPlay option and told me about the new deal whereby if I matched all five white balls, I’d win a million bucks.”

McNew bought five regular Powerball “Easy Pick” plays and five with the PowerPlay option, according to Lottery Director John Musgrave. In addition to his match-five prize, McNew matched the Powerball number on another PowerPlay ticket, which multiplied to a $12 prize.  The winning Powerball numbers for the Wednesday, Feb. 4 drawing were 7-24-30-32-44.  The Powerball number was 18; the PowerPlay multiplier was 4.

Married with two young children, ages 10 years and 18 months, McNew was accompanied to Charleston by his mother Bonnie, who said she had about five calls one-minute apart on her cell phone following the Wednesday Powerball drawing. “When a mother sees that many calls on her phone at that time of night, she fears that something horrible is wrong, but when I finally reached him about 11:30, he said something was horribly right.”

McNew said he would pay off some bills and “get some financial security in my banking account, which I lack right now. My family can eat and payday is tomorrow, but I only have $122 to my name . . . this sort of changes the perspective of payday; what was slim isn’t now quite as slim.”

McNew also plans to leave his lucky bartender a hefty tip. “She’s going to need a bigger tip jar.”