Reston Landscaper Wins $200,000 in Lottery Scratcher — Brett Calhoun scratched the winning Jewel 7 ticket in his car, but had to send a picture of the ticket to his wife to make sure he was reading it right. Calhoun, a landscaper, bought the winning ticket the 7-Eleven at 29900 Centreville Road in Herndon. [Inside NOVA]

Taste of Reston Needs Volunteers — The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce is looking for volunteers to help put on the annual event on June 14 and 15. Volunteers will receive a volunteer T-shirt and a dozen taste tickets. [Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce]

Reston Nonprofit Marks 140 Years of Supporting Military Families — “Before he got a job assisting military members and their families, Michael Meese was in the military himself. Meese served in the U.S. Army for 32 years, a period that included deployments to Iraq, Bosnia, and Afghanistan and concluded with a stint as professor and head of the Department of Social Sciences at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. After retiring as a brigadier general, Meese became the chief operating officer for the American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association, and he has worked at the Reston-based nonprofit since 2013, now holding the title of executive vice president.” [Fairfax County Times]

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill


An Aldrin Elementary School student received a surprise celebration in front of her classmates today (March 21) for her artwork.

Shortly before 2:30 p.m., Aldrin students assembled in the lobby of the school for an announcement by Principal Shane Wolfe. The Virginia Lottery then surprised fifth-grader Elizaveta G. with the news that she is one of three winners statewide in the “Thank a Teacher Art Contest.”

Jennifer Mullen, the public affairs and community relations manager at Virginia Lottery, told the students that the lottery started the artwork contest last year as an addition to its notecard writing to thank teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week. Three students’ pieces were selected from 700 entries, Mullen said.

The Virginia Lottery presented Elizaveta with a $150 gift card along with $1,000 for Aldrin’s art department.

Elizaveta’s original design will be used on thousands of thank you notes that will be distributed to public school teachers in Virginia during National Teacher Appreciation Week in May.

Wolfe facilitated a Q&A between Elizaveta and her classmates, who asked questions about her favorite color (“blazer blue and red”), how long it took to make the art (“one to two hours”) and who told her about the contest (her mom).

The other two winners have not been announced yet.


A Herndon man scratched to win the top prize in the Virginia Lottery’s Ford Expedition Plus $100K game.

Santos Matute walked away with $100,000 in cash and a new Ford on August 10. Matute received the keys to his new car at Koons Sterling Ford in Sterling.

His winning ticket was bought at Fresh World in Herndon (1070 Elden Street).

The contest is run through the Virginia Lottery, with prizes ranging from $5 to $100,000. According to a release by the Virginia lottery, Matute is the first person to scratch and win a car and $100,000 in cash.

The odds of winning the top prize are in 1 in 1,387,200.

Photo via Virginia Lottery


Thursday Morning Notes

Virginia Task Force 1 on Heads Toward Irma — Just one day after returning from Hurricane Harvey rescue efforts, the crew left Wednesday for Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama to prepare to help those affected by Hurricane Irma. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]

Free Concert Tonight at Lake Anne — The “Take A Break” concert series at Lake Anne Plaza will continue tonight from 7-9 p.m. with a show from the The Barretones, a bluegrass group. [Lake Anne Plaza]

$3M Lottery Ticket Sold in Sterling Unclaimed — If you bought a Mega Millions ticket at the Giant in the Cascades Marketplace (21000 Southbank St., Sterling), make sure you look closely at it. A ticket that matched the first five numbers for Tuesday’s drawing (11-17-59-70-72), missing only the Mega Ball, was sold there and has not been claimed. Whoever holds the ticket also bought the Megaplier option, meaning it is worth a $3 million prize. [Virginia Lottery]

Alston’s Strong Play Earns Accolades — In its high school football notebook this week, the Washington Post sings the praises of South Lakes Seahawks running back Spencer Alston, who it says is the focal point of an offense that has scored 42 points in each of its first two games. [Washington Post]

Reston Town Center ‘Dog Days’ Re-Scheduled — After rain Wednesday didn’t allow the event to take place, Reston Town Center’s “Dog Days” is now being planned for Monday, Sept. 11, from 4-7 p.m. [Reston Town Center/Twitter]

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Casimer Carros bought a pair of Cash 5 tickets for the Virginia Lottery’s evening drawing June 8 — one for himself and one for his daughter.

The five numbers on the tickets he purchased at Harris Teeter in The Spectrum shopping plaza were the same: 2, 5, 7, 10 and 31. The numbers correlate with the birthdays of Carros’ daughter and granddaughter.

And when the drawing happened that night, the numbers matched again.

Carros and his daughter, Debra, each won the game’s $100,000 top prize.

“I checked the numbers thinking I’m not a winner,” Carros told the Virginia Lottery. “But this time I was!”

According to the Virginia Lottery’s press release archives, other recent big wins by Reston players have included:

  • a $50,000 Powerball ticket winner in January 2016
  • a $100,000 Cash 5 winner in August 2015
  • a $10,000 Powerball winner in February 2015

Photo courtesy Virginia Lottery


Powerball/Credit: Virginia LotteryThere was no big winner in Wednesday’s Powerball lottery. That means the jackpot will increase to $675 million, making it the biggest jackpot in Powerball history.

Wednesday’s numbers were 2, 11, 47, 62 and 63, and the Powerball was 17.

Virginia Lotttery tickets said there were two $50,000 winners in Wednesday night’s drawing — one in Herndon (7-Eleven, 701 Van Buren St.) and one in Ashburn (Ashbrook Shell, 20065 Ashbrook Commons Plaza).

The next drawing is Saturday.

Powerball is played in 44 states, including Virginia, as well as the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. More than 191,000 tickets were sold in Virginia in advance of Wednesday’s drawing, Virginia Lottery officials said.

Your chances of winning? One in 292.2 million, according to lottery officials. That means you are more likely to get struck by lightning or bitten by a shark than win the lottery.

On average, the chances of being struck by lightning are 1 in 3,000 during an average lifetime. And the chances of being bitten by a shark are less than 1 in 264.1 million.

Nonetheless, Virginia Lottery officials said they expect to sell about 2.7 million Powerball tickets in the Commonwealth on Saturday alone. At peak times on Saturday, Virginia Lottery expects to sell 5,400 Powerball tickets per minute across the commonwealth.


Powerball/Virginia LotteryThe muti-state Powerball lottery is expected to climb above $300 million by Wednesday night’s drawing. That’s the largest jackpot in almost than a year, Powerball officials said.

Powerball estimates that Wednesday’s prize — should someone guess all the correct numbers plus the Powerball number — will be $317 million, making it the 11th-largest Powerball jackpot ever. No one has won the Powerball since early December.

Before the latest prize, Powerball’s last major jackpot was in February 2014, when it was $425 million.

You have until 9:58 p.m. Wednesday to get your ticket. But don;t quit your day job yet – the Virginia Lottery says your odds of winning it all are about 1 in 175 million.

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Kenneth Gifford/Credit: Virginia LotteryKenneth Gifford of Glen Burnie was in Reston on business a few weeks ago when he stopped for snacks at the 7-Eleven at 11846 Sunrise Valley Dr.

He also picked up a couple of the Virginia Lottery’s Venetian Scratcher tickets. One of those tickets turned out to be a $150,000 winner.

“I scratched the tickets in the car and had to pinch myself,” said Gifford.

Gifford told Virginia Lottery officials he hopes to buy a new truck with his winnings.

Gifford is the third player to claim the Venetian’s top prize, which means two $150,000 tickets are still unclaimed, lottery officials said. In addition, non-winning The Venetian tickets can be entered in the Virginia Lottery’s “Epic Vegas” Scratcher promotion for one of 10 Las Vegas trips worth $25,000 or a $150,000 cash prize. Eight of the Vegas trips have been awarded. The remaining two trips and a cash prize of $150,000 will be selected in a drawing on Sept. 10.

Photo of Ken Gifford/Courtesy of Virginia Lottery


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