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Virginian wins second prize in The Big Game lottery drawing 

Lottery Loser

Some say second place designates the first loser. Van lost the May 9th The Big Game lottery drawing, but this "loser" will have his bills paid.

Like seven other Virginians, he matched five of six numbers and won the $150,000 second prize. If he had hit the Big Money Ball, he would have split the $369 million jackpot with the two winners in Illinois and Michigan.

"I'm pissed, but I'm not really that mad," says Van, a door-to-door wireless security salesman who asks that we not use his last name for his own security.

After taxes he received $102,000. He considers the money a blessing because it will be enough to get him back on track financially, help him later on in his retirement and help his family members. Finding a new car and investing in mutual funds are his top priorities.

"This is not the kind of thing that's an extra special treat," Van says. "It's just getting me back to where I need to be." Also, Van says he's happy his parents know their son will be solid financially. "It's made my parents breathe a sigh of relief," he says.

Van says he does not check his numbers often but remembered to check his tickets while purchasing $2 worth of gas to get home from work one day. One ticket caused the clerk to blurt loudly: "Do you know how much you won?"

"No," Van said, and he told the clerk he'd rather not have other customers know. He saw the six-digit figure on the lotto scanner and left and drove home in silence.

Amazingly enough, he almost gave the winning ticket away. He originally bought $9 worth of tickets at the 4001 Glenside Drive 7-Eleven and then decided to get an extra ticket to make the purchase an even $10. He grabbed a random ticket from the stack and handed it to a lady standing behind him and wished her luck. She took his phone number down and said she would give him some money if she won. He hasn't heard from her.

Of course, he'd still like to sell her a security system for her new
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