They were already calling Melvyn Wilson “Mr. Lucky” back in 2005, when he hit the lottery three times in 10 months: $500,000 in November 2004, $25,000 in March 2005, and then $1 million from a scratch-off bought at a Woodbridge gas station in September 2005. Two years later, the postal worker retired.
Now, he’s done it again: Wilson, 72, bought, scratched and won another $500,000 at the Handy Dandy Market on Occoquan Road in Woodbridge recently, the Virginia Lottery announced Tuesday. The latest hit came in the “Millionaire Mania” game, which costs $20 per ticket. That brings his lottery winnings now to just over $2 million on those four games alone.
Lottery officials could not say whether anyone had ever hit three six-figure payouts before, and they did not know how many tickets Wilson had bought. All have come from scratch-off games, as opposed to the multi-state Powerball or Mega Millions games with the occasional eight- and nine-figure payouts.
Back in 2005, when he was struck with “Million Dollar Madness,” Wilson revealed that his strategy was to play every day except Sunday. “I stop by different places at different times and buy a few tickets,” he said. “You gotta play to win.” Never heard that one before.
The odds of winning the million dollar prize in 2005 were 1 in 1,040,400. They were 1 in 816,348 for the $500,000 “Casino Royale” jackpot and 1 in 520,200 for winning the $25,000 “Cash Spectacular.” The odds of winning all three? In ten months? And now, winning four times? Real long. You figure it out.
Lottery officials asked Wilson what he did with all his winnings. “I invest in Melvyn,” he said, reportedly laughing. I called Wilson to
interrogate berate befriend congratulate him and learn more of his scratching secrets, but his answering machine isn’t taking messages. He’s probably used to this by now. Has a strategy for after the winning too.