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Arkansas couple claims $3 million Mega Millions prize

T. Burdess & C. Vandiver

Drawing Date: 10/12/2018

October 15, 2018 - Timothy Burdess and his girlfriend, Christina Vandiver, claimed a $3 million Mega Millions prize late this afternoon. They didn’t realize until about 7 p.m. Sunday night that they had the winning ticket. They had the only winning ticket in the entire United States that had all five numbers with the multiplier.

“I was broke – going through my change looking for enough quarters to buy some snuff at the Valero station,” Burdess said.  “While I was there, I scanned my ticket and discovered it was a big winner.”

Burdess was sick last Friday so he asked Vandiver to buy him a Powerball ticket on her way home from work. When she got to the store, she wasn’t sure if she was supposed to purchase Powerball or Mega Millions so she bought one for each game. Her confusion paid off.

A native of Iowa, Burdess moved to Sheridan, Ark., when he was in the fourth grade. He graduated from Sheridan High School in 1990. After a tour with the Marine Corps, he moved back to his hometown two years ago.

Burdess and Vandiver each have a 12-year-old autistic boy. They met each other when the boys were in the same class. The couple plans to use the money for trust funds for the boys and to buy a house.

Burdess and Vandiver had all five white ball numbers (4, 24, 46, 61 and 70) – and only lacked having the Megaball number of 7 or they would have won the $548 million jackpot. By
purchasing the Megaplier the couple tripled their winnings. Instead of winning $1 million, it increased to $3 million.

The $3 million prize is the fourth highest lottery prize ever won in Arkansas behind a $177 million Mega Millions winner, a $25 million Powerball winner and a $3,000,006 Mega Millions winner. The Sheridan winner is Arkansas’s 64th lottery-made millionaire.