The $217 million jackpot winners for the Powerball lottery were Dave and Nancy Honeywell of Fredricksburg, Va. The couple, both of whom work for the Department of Defense, will go down in history as the state's second largest lottery winners ever.
The $217 million jackpot was the result of Dave Honeywell's lucky ticket that he bought at Richmond International Airport's Lottery Express station Feb. 6. The computer scientist was at the airport for a business trip, but he had some extra time, so he bought a ticket. When he realized he had won, he immediately called his wife.
"I just couldn't believe it. I called my wife … I said, 'I think my heart just started- we have the Powerball winning ticket,'" he recounted for reporters at the press conference. "We still can't describe it. It's so surreal."
The winning numbers, 5-27-36-38-41, represented the state's first Powerball winner and beating some astronomical odds: the chances of winning the lottery are 1 in 175 million.
After cashing in their lucrative ticket, the Honeywells received a giant check at the airport for $217 million, according to News4. The couple opted, however, for the lump sum payment, which delivers $136.4 million instead of annual payouts.
The Honeywells have plans for their newfound wealth. The first thing on the couple's minds may be a new car- their car now is 13 years old with many miles on it. The two longtime Defense Department employees only have one other benefit in mind.
"[Being] able to retire," Dave told reporters. Both of the Honeywells had to rise at 4 a.m. to commute to their jobs every day. Still, Dave will finish out the next six weeks before heading to an early retirement.
"That's the biggest thing- being able to enjoy our family," Nancy agreed.
The two received their giant check on Valentine's Day.