(SPRINGFIELD, Pa.) — It pays to keep a tidy wallet. That’s the lesson learned this week by a Virginia man who discovered he was a millionaire only after deciding that his wallet was “getting too fat.”
“I was getting rid of some old receipts and I had about 10 or 12 lottery tickets in there,” Robert Manning said this week at a Virginia Lottery news conference. “I had the laptop in front of me and I started checking the numbers and the next thing I saw was, wait a minute, I just read all five numbers.”
The Springfield, Va., resident was just one number shy of winning the $40 million jackpot, but all he was focused on was getting to the nearest Virginia Lottery office to claim his prize.
“I immediately realized I won something,” Manning recalled. “I said, ‘I don’t want to sit on it another day,’ so we drove down here in the storm.”
“I wanted to cash it in quick,” he said.
The storm Manning drove in on Monday was the same St. Patrick’s Day snowstorm that shut down the federal government in nearby Washington, D.C. Still, Manning made the nearly 90-mile drive from Springfield to the Lottery’s Richmond office to become a millionaire.
“It feels like there’s nine million things going through my mind,” Manning said as he held his check. “What are you going to do with it? What are you going to buy? What are you going to save?”
One thing that Manning, a federal employee, will very likely do with his new million is start a college fund.
Manning, who could not be reached Wednesday by ABC News, told lottery officials he has one child in college and another child who will start college next year.
The winning lotto ticket was purchased by Manning at a local 7-Eleven just prior to the March 5 drawing.
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
Puja Bhattacharjee, CNN
Holly Yan and Joe Sterling, CNN
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Laura Goehler, CNN