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Virginia dad wins $2 million playing Powerball

Thursday - 12/12/2013, 4:26pm  ET

WASHINGTON -- This time of year, many of us could use some extra cash. But for one Virginia man, Christmas definitely came early.

Ramon Mendez, 66, and his wife came to pick up their winnings on Thursday after winning $2 million in the Dec. 4 Powerball. Although he lives in Alexandria, Mendez bought the winning ticket at the Gateway News Stand in D.C. for the Dec. 4 game.

A regular player, Mendez doubled his winnings with the Power Play add-on feature.

A Powerball ticket costs $2 and adding Power Play is an additional $1. Mendez says he always opts for Power Play.

After taxes, Mendez will take home $1.5 million, says Buddy Roogow, executive director for the D.C. Lottery and Charitable Games Control Board.

Roogow says Virginia will also tax the winnings.

Mendez has worked as a cook at the Palm Restaurant in D.C. for 30 years. He and his wife have two daughters, and with the money, he says he wants to buy their house.

"Very, very happy right now," Mendez says. "Good Christmas, good New Year."

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