Stephens City man wins second big lottery payout

John Jones of Stephens City purchased a 20x The Money Scratcher ticket at a Strasburg store and won. He had a choice of a cool million over 30 years, or cash -- $537,393. Virginia Lottery photo

STRASBURG – Some people have a knack for fixing cars. Others have a flair for growing vegetables or flowers.

John Jones has gotten the hang of winning million dollar prizes in the Virginia Lottery.

Jones, of Stephens City, won his second big prize in nine years Thursday when he walked into the lottery’s Shenandoah Valley Customer Service Center in Harrisonburg with a 20x the Money scratcher ticket.

Jones had a choice of between $1 million over 30 years or a cash option of $537,393. He chose the cash option, just as he did in December 2006 when he won $1.7 million in the Set for Life scratch game.

The Virginia Lottery issued a news release announcing Jones’ latest prize.

“Right now, it’s overwhelming,” Jones told lottery employees as he claimed his prize. “It’s just hard to believe this can happen again.”

Jones has no immediate plans for what he will do with his winnings.

Jones bought the winning ticket Thursday from Carmen Mondragon at the 7-Eleven store at 201 E. Washington St. in Strasburg. The store receives a $10,000 bonus from the lottery for selling the ticket.

Mondragon, an assistant manager at the store, said Jones works at a maintenance job at her apartment complex in Strasburg. She described him as a regular lottery player at the store, and Thursday morning was no exception.

“He asked me for a $10 ticket,” Mondragon said, adding that she chose what proved to be the winning ticket.

Libby Schaeffer, the store manager, said Jones’ ticket was the biggest prizewinner the store has ever sold.

“I hope he gives me a tip,” Schaeffer quipped.

The 20x the Money game offers prizes ranging from $10 to $1 million. The lottery gives the odds of winning the top $1 million prize as 1 in 305,000.

<p id=’reporter_info’>Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or <a href=’mailto:jbeck@nvdaily.com’>jbeck@nvdaily.com</a></p>