Arkansas Couple Claims $3 Million Mega Millions Prize

Timothy Burdess (L), Christina Vandiver (R).

LITTLE ROCK (KFSM) — A couple from Sheridan, Arkansas claimed a $3 million Mega Millions prize Monday (Oct. 15) afternoon.

Timothy Burdess and his girlfriend, Christina Vandiver, say they didn’t realize until Sunday (Oct. 14) night that they had the winning ticket. The two had the only winning ticket in the entire United States that had all five numbers with the multiplier, according to Arkansas Lottery Campaign Coordinator Kara Lee Ford.

“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. She wasn’t sure if she was supposed to purchase Powerball or a Mega Millions, so she bought one for each game, and her confusion paid off.

The couple both have 12-year-old autistic boys. 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, Ford said in a press release.

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.

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.

Since 2009, the Arkansas 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, Ford said.