Northern Virginia lottery millionaire describes ‘awesome feeling’ of winning big

Lottery winner Michael Brosnan won $1 million in January. (Courtesy of Virginia Lottery)

A lot of people have lottery fever again, with the Powerball jackpot reaching $1.23 billion for Saturday night’s drawing.

It’s the 8th largest jackpot in U.S. lottery history. So, how does it feel to win a bunch of money playing the lottery?

“Dude, it was amazing,” said Michael Brosnan of Stafford, Virginia.

Brosnan started the year by winning $1 million in Virginia’s New Year’s Millionaire Raffle.

He found out when his father called him up and said the Virginia Lottery had announced that one of the $1 million winning tickets was purchased at Paddy’s 32 Steakhouse & Pub on Center Street in Stafford.

That’s where Brosnan bought his ticket.

He checked the winning numbers and realized that his ticket with the number “007094” was one of the big winners.

“My heart started pumping and I ran up and looked,” Brosnan said. “It was crazy — I jumped up and probably dropped about 50 ‘f-bombs.'”

People who play that particular game buy a ticket for $20, and only five $1 million winners in all are chosen.

The odds of winning the million are one in 125,000. To put that in perspective, the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are one in 292.2 million.

“It was an awesome feeling,” Brosnan said. “It took me like two weeks at least to process it.”

Brosnan did take some time to enjoy the cash.

He bought his family a new Jeep and took his daughter to basketball games, buying floor seats. But Brosnan said he tried to be smart about it.

“Luckily, my wife was able to calm me down,” Brosnan said. “We’ve invested most of the money.”

Brosnan said he has accountants in his family as well who were able to give him advice on how to invest the money and how much to set aside for taxes.

“I want to make sure my daughter’s secure with college, and it’s going to hopefully lead to an early retirement,” Brosnan said.

Brosnan still plays the lottery. In fact, he’s an avid Powerball player, so he’ll be keeping an eye on the winning numbers this weekend.

“It’s just something I’ve always done,” Brosnan said. “You can’t win unless you take a chance.”

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Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

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