Virginia Man Misses Winning $1.5 Billion by Changing Powerball Number, Ends Up Being a Millionaire Instead

The man changed his Powerball number at the last second which led to him missing out on the billion dollar jackpot.

(Image via Virginia Lottery)

A man in Virginia had some luck work in his favor when he lost his chance at a $1.5 billion lottery ticket but still became a millionaire.

According to Virginia Lottery, Carlos Gutierrez went to Lee's Sandwiches in Falls Church to buy a coffee and a chicken sandwich. In addition to his meal, Guiterrez bought a lottery ticket for the Oct. 9 Powerball drawing that ended up being the winning combination for the $1 million prize. 

"The next day, when he stopped at the same location on his way to work, the store was buzzing with excitement," a press release from the Virginia Lottery said. "A ticket bought there had won $1 million in the previous night's drawing."

Gutierrez matched the first five numbers (16-34-46-55-67) with 14 as the Powerball number on his ticket, which won him $1 million. However, Gutierrez initially had 19 as his Powerball number before changing it to 14 at the last minute. If he stayed with that number, he would've won the billion-dollar prize. 

"Mr. Gutierrez said he initially selected all six of those numbers but at the last minute changed his Powerball number to 19," the release said. "Had he stuck with those initial numbers, he would have won the jackpot."

Even though he missed out on becoming a billionaire overnight, Gutierrez will be putting his winnings to good use as he'll be expanding his small business, according to the Virginia Lottery. 

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