Prince William County man scratches $10M winning lottery ticket

Joseph K. Heaton, of Haymarket, won big in the Virginia Lottery. (WTOP/Kristi King)

You’ve just won $10 million. Now, what do you do?

For Joseph K. Heaton, the answer was this: Go to Walmart, then eat dinner at Chick-fil-A.

Yet the Haymarket, Virginia, man admitted he didn’t get much sleep the night he learned the big news. He had bought the “Extreme Millions” scratcher lottery ticket on his way home from work last week.

The first person Heaton told about winning was his accountant, who Heaton said couldn’t believe scratch-off tickets existed with that large of a payout.

Heaton has opted for the one-time cash option of $6,570,302 before taxes. He has no immediate plans for what to do with it.

“I drive a pick-up truck and, no, I don’t intend to buy any new vehicles in the near future,” Heaton said.

So, is there anything on the bucket list? Anything he’s thinking of buying, or maybe a big trip in the future?

“I haven’t decided yet,” Heaton said.

Heaton and gas station owner Michael Zhang pose with their symbolic checks on Friday. (WTOP/Kristi King)

But Heaton, who declined to say where he works, doesn’t intend for the money to change his three- to five-year glide into retirement.

The Sudley Road Shell gas station in Manassas, Virginia, that sold the ticket is getting money, too. Owner Michael Zhang knows what he’s going to do with his win.

“Buying a house, down payment or something like that, of course something like this. It’s good, right? Yeah, $50,000, that’s enough,” he said with a smile and chuckle.

“Every dollar that we raise goes to K-12 education,” said Virginia Lottery Deputy Director Frank Wagner during Friday’s news conference, when the two men were presented with figurative poster board checks.

“Last year, we had a record year. We turned over $650 million,” Wagner said.

Lottery proceeds represent more than 10% of the Virginia General Assembly’s education appropriation.

Heaton bought his scratcher at this Sudley Road Shell gas station in Manassas, Virginia. (WTOP/Kristi King)

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Kristi King

Kristi King is a veteran reporter who has been working in the WTOP newsroom since 1990. She covers everything from breaking news to consumer concerns and the latest medical developments.

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