CUMBERLAND (WRIC) - A Cumberland man is a multi-millionaire tonight, thanks to the Virginia Lottery.
Lewis Howard told no one but his wife that he won the May 17 Megamillions drawing until Thursday's very public announcement.
Lewis Howard says it all started with an itching hand. His mom always told him it meant money was coming and when it happened to him this past May, it really happened.
"I knew my life has changed and I am truly blessed," he says. "I'm just a regular guy. If you see me walking down the street, you see me and keep on walking. But if it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone in here."
Howard matched all six numbers in the May 17 Megamillions drawing, splitting the $198 million jackpot with a ticket holder in New Jersey.
The retired HVAC technician waited five and a half months to come forward, telling no one but his wife. Not his two grown sons, three grandchildren or the Farmville Food Lion where he bought the ticket.
"Everybody had their eyes on that Food Lion and Mr. Howard said he shops there every week and never let on that he was the winner," says Virginia Lottery Executive Director Paula Otto.
Howard opted to take the $73.3 million cash option.
He says he's a private person who doesn't get too excited, but he is looking forward to celebrating now that the news of his big win is out.
"There were times when me and my wife discussed going on a cruise but that's all we did, talk about it, but I can guarantee, we are definitely going on a cruise now."
His ticket would have expired on November 13, so it was getting down to the wire for him to come forward.
Howard says he still plays the lottery like he has the past 30-plus years.
And you never know, but luck could come his way again.
Copyright 2013 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond
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