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'Million-dollar man'
Ridgeway retiree receives $1 million lottery jackpot
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Mark Merritt (left) of the Virginia Lottery presents a $1 million check to winner Woodrow Galloway on Wednesday at Price’s Minute Market, where Galloway bought his winning ticket. (Bulletin photo by Mike Wray)
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Thursday, September 23, 2010

By ELIZA WINSTON - Bulletin Staff Writer

Like other people in the area, Woodrow Galloway had wondered why the person who bought the $1 million lottery ticket in April didn't step forward to claim the prize.

It turned out the winning ticket was hiding in Galloway's home the whole time.

"I'm a million-dollar man," Galloway, of Ridgeway, who worked as a police officer and security guard before retiring, said Wednesday as he received a $1 million check from the Virginia Lottery at Price's Minute Market on Bridge Street in Martinsville, where the Galloways had bought the ticket.

The winner was the first lottery ticket he had bought since he retired in 2002. When he was on a fixed income, he didn't have money for such things.

But last April, he had a few extra dollars, and he and his wife decided to buy a few tickets. They forgot about the tickets and, like many others in the area, they were curious who had bought the winning one after the Virginia Lottery announced it had been sold at Price's Minute Market in Martinsville.

The Galloways' daughter, April Galloway, said her mother kept saying she had "seen those numbers somewhere" whenever she saw the winning numbers publicized.

Then last Thursday, the Galloways found the lottery tickets under a pile of magazines in their home and realized they had a winner.

Actually, they had more than just a winner. The prize for the ticket Galloway bought was $200,000, but he added $1 to play Power Play. Because his ticket matched the first five numbers drawn and had Power Play, the prize increased to $1 million.

John Hagerty, a spokesman for the Virginia Lottery, said the prize has to be awarded in a lump sum. He said the Virginia Lottery gave Galloway $1 million before taxes and after taxes were taken out, Galloway got $710,000.

Galloway still was overcome with shock and excitement seven days after finding the winning ticket.

"I haven't slept since Thursday," Galloway said.

Hagerty said that under the lottery's policy, Galloway had until Oct. 18 to claim the prize. Luckily, the ticket was discovered less than a month before that deadline.

"My parents have worked very hard in this community," said April Galloway. "Thank God we can actually help family and friends."�

She added that her father "likes to help people" and always said he would like to donate money to specific organizations he cared about. She declined to name those organizations.

"Thank God it will change as far as helping others, but it won't change us as a family," April Galloway added.

Galloway, 70, said he was born in the area and has lived here most of his life. He spent his career as a police officer in Martinsville and later worked as a security guard before retiring in 2002.

He said it was difficult to live on a fixed income after retirement, but now he looks forward to helping friends and family with his new wealth. His daughter said he and his wife both were shocked to have won $1 million, because they have struggled throughout their lives. Not any more.

Galloway said he hopes to get some sleep and figure out what to do with his money. That will include traveling, but for now he has no destination in mind.

His last vacation was more than eight years ago. When asked if he would be taking another one soon, he replied, "Not right now. I'm going home to my wife," who was equally shocked by her husband's sudden wealth.

Price's Minute Market received $10,000 as a bonus for selling the winning ticket. That check was presented to the store Wednesday shortly before Galloway received his check for $1 million.


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