A $1 Million Winner and Three Other Lucky West Virginians win $250,000 Through the West Virginia Lot

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia Lottery Director John Musgrave today introduced West Virginia’s latest millionaire and three additional $250,000 prize winners from the Lottery’s 25 Anniversary second chance grand prize drawing held on June 21, 2011, during a press conference at West Virginia Lottery headquarters in Charleston.
Mark Boggs of Sissonville won the grand prize of $1 million in the second-chance drawing, becoming the 29th person in the Lottery’s 25-year history to win $1 million or more. Stephen Bledsoe of Huntington, James Fleshman of Crawley, and Loretta Pharis of Moatsville all won $250,000 cash prizes in the drawing. All four were present at West Virginia Lottery Headquarters in Charleston to accept their winnings on Wednesday.

“I am going to use this to take care of my mom and my two kids,” said Boggs who is a single father of two. “It is unbelievable.”

Following the drawing, all four winners were notified by phone on Tuesday that they had won at least $250,000 in the second chance drawing; however, the prize winners did not learn who won the $1 million grand prize until the press conference today.  Upon learning he was the million dollar prize winner, Boggs put his head in his hands and sat down in tears as he was overwhelmed with emotion.

Bledsoe said he plans to be debt free and may use his winnings to buy a new home and put some back for college for his children, while Fleshman plans to take his wife and daughter on a vacation among other things. Loretta Pharis and her family plan to pay off some bills with her winnings.

“This year marks a special year in Lottery history and we are very excited to end our celebration with such a life-changing event for these players and their families,” said John Musgrave, West Virginia Lottery Director.  “More than $13 million in tickets have been sold in West Virginia and total prizes paid from the three anniversary games have totaled $10.6 million.”

“In addition to these four winners, a total of 10 people won $25,000 prizes, and 50 people won $2,500 prizes in the June 21 second-chance drawing,” said Musgrave.

A total of $2.5 million has been awarded since January through Lottery’s monthly 25th Anniversary second chance drawings, for a grand total of $13.1 million. Players had the opportunity to win an ‘ENTRY’ from all three Anniversary Scratch-off games.  Players could submit eligible entries by mail or the internet for the second chance drawings. The West Virginia Lottery received more than 69,000 second-chance entries by mail and 109,000 online, for a total of 179,000 entries.  There were a possible 321,000 entries that were sold and eligible for the final grand prize drawing. Estimated revenue to the State of West Virginia through the second-chance event is an estimated $1.7 million.

West Virginia Lottery 25th Anniversary Instant Scratch-off games have ended, but players may still redeem any prizes from winning tickets until December 19, 2011.