This Norfolk man struck gold

Brandon Evans (Southside Daily/Courtesy of the Virginia Lottery)
Brandon Evans (Southside Daily/Courtesy of the Virginia Lottery)

NORFOLK — As soon as he scratched the ticket, Brandon Evans knew he’d won big.

The Norfolk man had gone recently to the 7-Eleven on West Ocean View Avenue in Norfolk intending to get a Powerball ticket.

Instead, he played the Virginia Lottery’s Golden Nugget game and won the $250,000 top prize.

“It’s surreal,” he said. “I can’t believe it yet!”

Golden Nugget is a game from the Virginia Lottery featuring cash prizes and instant-win Las Vegas trips. In addition, players can enter non-winning Golden Nugget tickets in the Ultimate Vegas Getaway drawings for a chance to win one of two additional Las Vegas trips, lottery officials said.

The odds of scratching to win the $250,000 prize are 1 in 489,600. The odds of winning any prize in this game are 1 in 3.45, lottery officials said.

Evans said he has no immediate plans for his winnings except to take care of his two young daughters.

Evans lives in Norfolk, which received more than $28.7 million in Lottery funds for K-12 education last fiscal year.

For more information and a complete list of Lottery funds distributed to Virginia school districts, visit the Virginia Lottery’s Giving Back page.

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John Mangalonzo ( is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.