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McLean man wins $107M in Mega Millions jackpot

Thursday - 8/11/2011, 8:07am  ET

Brian McCarthy, 25, from McLean, Va. is shown with a check for $107 million he won in a Mega Millions jackpot. McCarthy found the winning numbers on a WTOP Facebook post. (Virginia Lottery)

MCLEAN, Va. - A 25-year old McLean man won the third-largest lottery jackpot in Virginia state history and his use of Facebook is partly the reason for his riches.

Brian McCarthy won $107 million in the Mega Millions lottery after buying a ticket in a Giant grocery store in Herndon.

McCarthy says he checked his ticket after reading an article posted on WTOP's Facebook page that posted the winning numbers.

After checking the article, McCarthy phoned his family, who didn't initially believe he had won a massive amount of money.

"My dad kind of freaked out a little bit and mom started crying," McCarthy says.

Rather than taking $107 million in 26 annual payments, he opted for a $68.4 million lump sum payment.

McCarthy, who had been working as an account manager at Pepsi, informed his boss he was quitting, but wasn't allowed to tell his boss why.

"I didn't tell anyone but my family for the first three-and-a-half weeks or so," McCarthy says. "On the last Friday, when I met my boss and turned in my computer, I told him and he got a kick out of it."

He purchased a new car and took a trip to Ireland. He also donated $25,000 to two Herndon charities - Herndon-Reston FISH Inc. and the Herndon Optimist Club.

McCarthy says he plans to "go slow" with the rest of the money.

The $107 million jackpot is the third largest in Virginia lottery history.

J. R. and Peggy Triplett of Winchester won the largest jackpot in state history. They won the $239 million jackpot on Feb. 20, 2004. Steve Williams of Shenandoah, won the second largest jackpot of $200 million on Oct. 16, 2009, according to the state lottery, which says the lottery generates $1.2 million a day for Virginia's schools.

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(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All rights reserved.)