An Arkansas couple claimed a $3 million lottery prize Monday afternoon, lottery officials said.
The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery announced the winners — Timothy Burdess and Christina Vandiver of Sheridan — on Twitter about 4:15 p.m.
The pair told officials they didn't know they had won until about 7 p.m. Sunday.
“I was broke — going through my change looking for enough quarters to buy some snuff at the Valero station,” Burdess said in a statement. “While I was there, I scanned my ticket and discovered it was a big winner.”
According to a news release, Burdess was sick Friday, so he asked Vandiver to buy him a ticket on her way home from work. When she got to the Corner Store at 307 N. Rock St., she wasn't sure if she was supposed to purchase Powerball or Mega Millions, so she bought one ticket for each game.
It paid off.
The ticket for Friday night's drawing matched all five white ball numbers — 4, 24, 46, 61 and 70 — and had the Megaplier, which turned a $1 million prize to $3 million. Officials said the ticket did not match the Megaball number of 7, which would have netted the couple the $548 million jackpot.
The last time anyone in the country won the Mega Millions jackpot was July 24, when a group from California claimed a $543 million prize, the Associated Press reported. The jackpot has risen to $644 million for Tuesday night's drawing, which is the fourth largest ever.
According to the state lottery's website, Mega Millions tickets cost $2 each, and the Megaplier option costs $1.
Burdess and Vandiver, who each have 12-year-old sons who are autistic, met each other when the boys were in the same class, the news release states. The couple plans to use the prize to create trust funds for their children and to buy a house.
Bishop Woosley, Arkansas Scholarship Lottery director, said it is the fourth-highest lottery prize ever won in the state.
Also Monday, a central Arkansas man claimed a $100,000 prize from a scratch-off ticket, officials said.
Gary Higginbotham, 68, of Bryant bought the $5 Cash Bonus ticket at Sha Food Mart, 311 S. Reynolds Road in Bryant., according to a spokeswoman.
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette report Jaime Dunaway contributed to this story.