Each of the tickets Kwame Cross bought won the top prize of $5,000, multiplying his winnings into a six-figure payout

By Gabrielle Chung
December 15, 2020 09:36 PM
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Kwame Cross
| Credit: COURTESY VIRGINIA LOTTERY

A man in Virginia has seen his fortune multiply after purchasing more than a hundred lottery tickets that all turned out to be winners.

Kwame Cross won $800,000 by playing the exact same four-digit combination — 7-3-1-4 — on 160 tickets for the Dec. 5 drawing of the Virginia Lottery Pick 4 game.

"I saw an address in a TV show, in the background, and for some reason it stayed with me," he told Virginia Lottery officials in a press release. "I just had a feeling."

Each of the tickets Cross had bought won the top prize of $5,000, multiplying his winnings into a six-figure payout.

Cross said he was waiting in the drive-thru line at a fast-food restaurant when he learned that he was in possession of 160 winning tickets.

"I thought, 'This can’t be real!' " he recalled. "I had to pull over and check like 82 times. It feels surreal!"

The chances of matching all four numbers in exact order are 1 in 10,000, according to Virginia Lottery.

Cross — who owns a small business in Washington, D.C. — said he has no immediate plans for the money.

Lottery officials said the winning tickets were purchased at a Sunoco gas station in Arlington.

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Cross is not the first lottery winner who hit the jackpot on multiple tickets for the same drawing. Earlier this year, a Michigan man won $2 million after accidentally purchasing a duplicate ticket with the same numbers.

Samir Mazahem told Michigan Lottery that he had only meant to buy one ticket for the June 9 Mega Millions drawing, but mistakenly bought a second ticket when he went on the lottery app to save the numbers he had played: 01-05-09-10-23.

"What I didn’t realize is that meant I would be buying a second ticket with the same numbers," he said. "Once I figured out I had bought two tickets with identical numbers, I was a little bummed, but didn’t think much about it."

Mazahem later discovered that each ticket had won $1 million each, therefore doubling his winnings.

"Saying that I was stunned is an understatement," he said. "I couldn’t believe it was real. It took several days for the reality to set in that my mistake had paid off to the tune of $2 million."