Retired real estate investor Ali Ghaemi’s birth month and year were a perfect match for a Virginia Lottery Pick 4 drawing. Luckily, he played those exact numbers in the game.
Two hundred times.
The Alexandria man won $1 million off his lucky numbers, with each ticket snagging him the top prize of $5,000, lottery officials said in a Sept. 27 news release.
Ghaemi had bought his 200 tickets for the Sept. 6 drawing at a Safeway in McLean just before he was about to leave town as an impulse splurge, he told lottery officials.
Despite the staggering win, he told lottery officials he didn’t exactly erupt in celebration.
“I must tell you, I really haven’t hit the ceiling,” he said. “I can’t tell you that I jumped up.”
The odds of winning the top prize are 1 in 10,000, according to the Virginia Lottery.
McLean is about 5 miles northwest of Arlington.
If you or a loved one shows signs of gambling addiction, you can seek help by calling the national gambling hotline at 1-800-522-4700 or visiting the National Council on Problem Gambling website.