LITTLE ROCK – Timothy Burdess and his girlfriend, Christina Vandiver, claimed a $3 million Mega Millions® prize late Monday afternoon. They didn’t realize until about 7 p.m. Sunday night that they had the winning ticket. They had the only winning ticket in the entire United States that had all five numbers with the multiplier.


“I was broke – going through my change looking for enough quarters to buy some snuff at the Valero station,” Burdess said. “While I was there, I scanned my ticket and discovered it was a big winner.”


Burdess was sick last Friday so he asked Vandiver to buy him a Powerball® ticket on her way home from work. When she got to the store, she wasn’t sure if she was supposed to purchase Powerball® or Mega Millions® so she bought one for each game. Her confusion paid off.


A native of Iowa, Burdess moved to Sheridan when he was in the fourth grade. He graduated from Sheridan High School in 1990. After a tour with the Marine Corps, he moved back to his hometown two years ago.


Burdess and Vandiver each have a 12-year-old autistic boy. They met each other when the boys were in the same class. The couple plans to use the money for trust funds for the boys and to buy a house.


Burdess and Vandiver had all five white ball numbers (4, 24, 46, 61 and 70) – and only lacked having the Megaball® number of 7 or they would have won the $548 million jackpot. By purchasing the Megaplier® the couple tripled their winnings. Instead of winning $1 million, it increased to $3 million.


The Mega Millions® jackpot for tomorrow’s drawing is now $654 million – the second highest Mega Millions® jackpot ever and just $2 million shy of the all-time record of $656 million back in 2012, according to Woosley. It is also the fourth largest U.S. lottery jackpot of any kind ever.


Fifteen other winning Mega Millions® tickets worth more than $500 each – including one for $30,000 – were sold in Arkansas for Friday’s drawing totaling $44,220. The lottery’s Claim Center is not open on Saturday or Sunday so today is the first opportunity for those lucky players to cash their winning tickets. All winners have 180 days from the date of the drawing to claim their prizes.


Woosley said $3 million is the fourth highest lottery prize ever won in Arkansas behind a $177 million Mega Millions® winner, a $25 million Powerball® winner and a $3,000,006 Mega Millions® winner. The Sheridan winner is Arkansas’s 64th lottery-made millionaire.


Retailers receive a 1 percent commission from the sales of winning lottery products. The Corner Store located at 307 N. Rock St. in Sheridan will receive $30,000 in commission for selling the $3 million ticket once the prize is claimed.


“Right now is a great time for lottery players. There are multiple ways to win really big jackpots with the Mega Millions® jackpot standing at $654 million and the Powerball jackpot growing to $345 million. That brings the jackpot total of the two national games to $999 million – the fourth largest combined figure ever,” Woosley said. “Plus we have scratch-off tickets with prizes of up to $1 million for sale.”


Winning lottery numbers are posted at MyArkansasLottery.com.


About the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery


More than 92 cents of every dollar of Lottery revenue goes to prizes, scholarships, retailer commissions, and other expenses in Arkansas. Since 2009, the Lottery has provided more than $781 million for more than 302,000 college scholarships, more than $2.7 billion in prizes to players, about $230 million in retailer commissions and more than $117 million state and federal tax revenue.


Follow the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Visit MyArkansasLottery.com for more information on scholarships, winners, games, odds, promotions – and to join The Club for free. To hear winning numbers, call the Winning Numbers Hotline at 501-682-IWON (4966). To get help with problem gambling, contact the National Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800-522-4700.