Franklin man wins $150,000 in lottery

Published 4:03 pm Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tonch Bynum of Franklin holds a $150,000 check he won playing the Virginia Lottery. -- SUBMITTED

FRANKLIN—For 40 years, Tonch Bynum has played the lottery.

On Nov. 19, it paid off when the 76-year-old Franklin man won $150,000 on a Virginia Lottery scratch ticket.

“Anytime you win something like this, you’re a little overanxious, but I didn’t get excited,” Bynum said.

A retiree from General Motors in New Jersey, Bynum purchased five tickets from Park N Shop at 301 E. Second St. in Franklin. Before he left the store, he scratched off the winning prize on the $5 World Poker Tour ticket, yet said nothing, according to lottery officials.

“I knew I was a winner. I play every day,” said Bynum, who might normally win $2 or $5.

Bynum, who moved to Franklin after retiring because his wife, Priscilla, is from here, did not want to say how much in taxes were taken from his winnings. He plans to use the money to pay bills, give to his grandchildren and spend on Christmas.

World Poker Tour features prizes ranging from $5 to $150,000. This is the second top prize claimed in World Poker Tour, which means three $150,000 tickets are unclaimed.

The first winner was Jason Glavich of Woodbridge in October. The ticket was bought at Wegman’s in Woodbridge

The lottery generates $1.2 million per day for Virginia’s public schools. The lottery raised more than $444 million for schools in fiscal year 2011. That represents about 8 percent of state funding for public education in Virginia.