Minutes before the D.C. lottery office opened on the first offical day of Washington's second instant lottery game yesterday, a 25-year-old Virginia used car dealer and a 57-year-old Veterans Administration senior claims examiner were at the door, both with winning $20,000 lottery tickets in hand.
They were among 65 winners in the new D.C. Double who claimed returns of $100 to $20,000 for their $1 tickets. Two of those 65 won $10,000, previously the maximum instant prize.
Lee A. Grant, who has worked for 26 years at the Veterans Administration, netted $18,000 after federal taxes on his $20,000 ticket, and collected $36 on a handful of other winning tickets among the 30 he bought at a liquor store in his Northeast Washington neighborhood.
"I've always considered myself a lucky person," said the veteran of World War II and the Korean War.
Grant said he plans to use much of the money to pay off the note on his new Ford LTD, and predicted his wife would have plans for whatever is left. He estimated that he will save about $3,000 in interest payments by paying now for the automobile.
The other $20,000 winner, Alvin Grigsby of Catlett, Va., could not be reached for comment yesterday. However, he told lottery officials that he plans to use his winnings to buy more cars for his used car lot.