Shinnston Couple Claims $1 Million Powerball Prize

Charleston, W.Va. – Tim and Jo Varca of Shinnston are the latest West Virginians to win a $1 million prize playing the popular Powerball game. The couple was introduced by Lottery Director Alan Larrick at a press conference at Lottery Headquarters, Thursday.

“I put the ticket in my truck, actually the floor of my truck, and didn’t check it until Sunday,” Tim said. “I saw where I matched three and then four and then five, but I did not know how much that was worth. The whole time I was thinking it might be a $100, so I typed in the computer “how much is a match 5 win” and I saw $1 million…and I turned white. I got her (Jo) out of bed and she didn’t believe me. Then we both went down stairs and she turned white. We are still in shock, but it is a great feeling.”

Varca’s ticket, which matched five numbers from the Saturday, April 29 drawing, was purchased at Go Mart #29 in Shinnston.

“I let the computer pick the numbers. I play off and on and probably haven’t spent but a hundred dollars on it in my life,” Tim said.

The lucky ticket was the only one in the country to match five numbers for that particular drawing, and no one won the jackpot. The numbers were 22-23-24-45-62 and the Powerball was 5.

This is the first match-5 Powerball winner in West Virginia since Tommy and Martha Robinson of Princeton claimed a $2 million win back in January. Their prize was doubled to $2 million, because they paid an extra dollar for the Power Play option when purchasing their ticket.

“We are definitely going to pay the extra dollar next time for the Power Play,” Jo said.

With this most recent claim, the West Virginia Lottery has now produced 20 Match-5 prizes of $1 million or more from the games of Powerball and Mega Millions in just the last three years.

The Varca’s say they have a good idea of where some of their win will go. “Well, we are going to pay a few bills, maybe take another European vacation, and probably invest the rest.”

Go Mart receives a sales bonus of $10,000 for selling the lucky ticket, and Terry Smith, Go Mart’s Director of Marketing, was on hand to congratulate the Varcas on their good fortune.

“We are so happy for Tim and Jo,” Larrick said. “So many people talk about the top prizes in games like Powerball, but there are a lot of great prizes like the match five for a million dollars, too. My first day on the job, we had a couple from Elkview here that won $2 million because they played Power Play and matched five numbers. It is great to see good folks win like that.”