Get All Access for $5/mo

He Picked Up a Lucky Penny In a Parking Lot. Moments Later, He Won $1 Million in the Lottery. Tim Clougherty was in for a surprise when he scratched off his $10,000-a-month winning lottery ticket.

By Emily Rella

If you find a coin on the ground heads up, it's long been considered good luck.

And for one Virginia man who found a lucky penny and then used it to scratch off a winning lottery ticket, it looks like the adage might be true.

Tim Clougherty of Accomack County, Virginia, purchased a lottery ticket on April 29, 2024, that offered the prize of $10,000 a month for 10 years when he noticed a penny in the parking lot of the Mini Mart.

Related: Virginia Woman Hits $1 Million Lottery Jackpot — Her Second Win That Week: 'I'm in Shock'

When he arrived back home, Clougherty used the penny to scratch off the numbers on the ticket. When he did, he won the grand prize.

"It took a week to really start sinking in," Clougherty told lottery officials, per the Virginia lottery.

Instead of choosing the monthly payout, he took a lump sum in cash, which amounted to $1,028,000 before taxes.

The $10,000-a-month game first hit stands on January 2 and costs each player $20 per ticket to buy.

According to the Virginia lottery, the odds of winning the game's top prize is 1 in 612,000, with two of the top prizes still remaining.

Last year, a Virginia woman hit the $1 million jackpot lottery for the jackpot after already winning a $500,000 online prize earlier in the same week.

Related: 'I Am Blessed': Woman Finds $100,000 Forgotten Powerball Ticket While 'Going Through Papers'

"I'm in shock!" Jennifer Minton told lottery officials about the win last November. "I'm in disbelief!"

The Virginia Lottery raised an estimated $867 million last year, all of which went to K-12 education in the state.

Emily Rella

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior News Writer

Emily Rella is a Senior News Writer at Previously, she was an editor at Verizon Media. Her coverage spans features, business, lifestyle, tech, entertainment, and lifestyle. She is a 2015 graduate of Boston College and a Ridgefield, CT native. Find her on Twitter at @EmilyKRella.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Side Hustle

The Side Hustle He Started in His College Apartment Turned Into a $70,000-a-Month Income Stream — Then Earned Nearly $2 Million Last Year

Kyle Morrand and his college roommates loved playing retro video games — and the pastime would help launch his career.

Growing a Business

How Visionary Leaders Transform Curiosity Into Groundbreaking Ideas

Lee Brian Schrager, founder of the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, discusses the spark that launched FoodieCon, his best practices for running popular food events, and why all business owners need to adapt to social media trends.

Business News

Homeowners in These 10 States Pay the Most in 'Hidden' Upkeep Costs

Hidden home costs pile on top of mortgage payments.

Data & Recovery

Get $60 off This Portable VPN Travel Router

Why keep paying for a VPN service when you can have a tiny, lightweight piece of hardware that can provide you with a lifetime of maximum VPN protection?

Money & Finance

Avoid These 10 Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make with Money

Despite the challenging statistic that only 5% of startups survive beyond five years, common financial pitfalls often contribute to their failure. Through personal observation, I've identified the prevalent financial mistakes made by entrepreneurs.

Growing a Business

5 Books to Help You Motivate, Unify and Build Perspective

In a post-Covid world, check out these must-read books to help build a more resilient organization, create a modern work culture and maintain a powerful growth mindset.