Million dollar winner in Chesterfield

By Yvette Yeon - bio | email

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, VA (WWBT) – A Midlothian man won a million bucks this week in the Virginia Lottery. One lucky scratch off game paid off big time.

Life just got little sweeter for 72-year-old Michael Smolko. Retired from the U.S. Air Force and the Postal Service spent the last 8 years enjoying the simple life.

Every day he came into the Deer Run Citgo gas station on Hull Street in Midlothian and bought at least a couple scratch off tickets. Wednesday was his lucky day.

"I was waiting for Charlene to get done with some customers and I was getting ready to get my pick 3 and pick 4 numbers and looked up there I saw the sun was on my favorite numbers which was 5," said Smolko.

He picked a $20 scratch off called "Virginia's $5 Million Club".

"Something just says, 'you gotta play this', so I just started scratching and I saw the last 2 numbers and when I scratched it was like a big blob because of all those zeros together and I said, 'Charlene Come here I'm ready to have a heart attack,'" said Smolko.

So was Charlene Henley, she's the one who sold him the winning ticket.

"Disbelief at first. I couldn't believe it and then after I realized it really was a winner it was like my heart skipped a beat and still thinking about it makes me nervous," she said.

It was the biggest cash sum he's ever got his hands on. But because he took the cash option instead a pay out over 20 years, in the end, Michael pockets $455,000. It may not be a million, but it's still good enough for this winner.

Copyright 2010 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.