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Norfolk man is Virginia’s first Decades of Dollars top-prize winner

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Posted at 4:59 PM, Apr 13, 2012
and last updated 2012-04-14 00:33:41-04

Cornelius Harris of Norfolk will probably always remember Friday the 13th.  That’s the day he received a $4 million check from Virginia Lottery Executive Director Paula Otto. Mr. Harris matched all six numbers in the April 12 Decades of Dollars drawing to become Virginia’s first top-prize winner in that game.

The retiree had the choice of taking $250,000 per year for 30 years or a one-time cash option of $4 million before taxes. He chose the cash option.

The winning numbers were 6-13-15-23-28-38. Mr. Harris used Easy Pick, allowing the computer to randomly select the numbers on his ticket. He bought the ticket at Spartan Market, 3026 East Princess Anne Road in Norfolk. The store receives a $10,000 bonus from the Virginia Lottery for selling the top-prize ticket.

Mr. Harris discovered he had the winning ticket when he visited the store on Friday, the morning after the drawing.

“They said someone had won, but I didn’t know it was me,” he told Lottery officials.

Although Mr. Harris is Virginia’s first grand-prize winner, plenty of other Decades of Dollars players in the Commonwealth have been lucky. Since the game’s first drawing in February 2011, 262 tickets have won the game’s second prize of $10,000.

Decades of Dollars drawings are held Monday and Thursday nights at 11:00. The game is currently played in Virginia, Georgia, Kentucky and Arkansas.