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A woman from Northern Virginia who won $3 million on a Mega Millions ticket has claimed her prize six months after the draw date, just days before the deadline.

Ina H. Fernandez, from Loudoun County, told lottery officials that her $3 million winning Lotto ticket was kept safe in a drawer for the last six months, and she explained that she wanted to take time to think about how she might spend her windfall. In fact, Ms Fernandez said that she didn’t even tell her husband for the first two months after she found out that her Mega Millions ticket was worth $3 million. A Michigan woman who won $300,000 on a scratch card planned to surprise her husband with her prize after claiming.

“I just wanted to think about it and take care of our finances,” the Mega Millions winner said as she claimed her prize last week. Recently the Virginia Lottery announced that nobody had so far come forward to claim the $3 million prize, and that it would be expiring six months after the date of the Mega Millions drawing on March 5th. Earlier this year another Virginia lottery player won $1 million on the Mega Millions and wanted to spend the money on his children’s educations.

Ms Fernandez finally got around to claiming her prize just a few days before the expiry date, earning her $3 million by the skin of her teeth. A New Zealand Lotto winner also claimed his prize six months after the draw date, but this time because he couldn’t find his ticket, while recently a Pennsylvania woman claimed her Maryland Powerball prize just a few days before the deadline passed.

The retired Virginia native told lottery officials that she hopes to use her new-found fortune to help out her family, but she’s also had plenty of time to think about how best the money can be spent. Recently another Virginia lottery winner took home $1 million in the Mega Millions, planning to help his family with the prize. The $3 million Mega Millions prize was won on September 5th when Ms Fernandez’ ticket matched the first five numbers 11, 17, 59, 70 and 72, missing out on just the Mega Ball which was 1.

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