Occohannock Elementary teacher big winner with the Virginia Lottery

June 5, 2024

An Occohannock Elementary School teacher was a big winner with the Virginia Lottery on Tuesday, but not in the way you are thinking.

Through the Virginia Lottery’s Thank a Teacher campaign, four lucky teachers across the Commonwealth were selected at random from a pool of teacher submissions to receive a $2,500 prize and $2,500 in school supplies.

Who was the lucky winner? Rachel Powell, a third grade teacher. Powell’s name was chosen from nearly 17,000 entries submitted by teachers who entered a special code from thank-you notes.

Representatives from the Virginia Lottery made the announcement to a packed house in the Occohannock Elementary Gymnasium Tuesday afternoon, which drew thunderous applause from the students.

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The 9th Annual award winning Thank A Teacher campaign is held in conjunction with National Teacher Appreciation week, May 6 – 10. This year, over 130,000 thank-you notes were sent to Virginia K-12 public school teachers by their students, parents or other Virginians. The cards, which could be hard copy or electronic, each had one of the three pieces of artwork designated by Virginia Elementary, middle and high school students who won the Thank a Teacher Art Contest.

When teachers received the thank-you notes, they could use a unique web code on the note to enter for a chance to win the grand prize.

“That was very sneaky, I had no idea!” she said after Khalid Jones, Executive Director of VA Lottery, made the announcement. “What am I going to do with all that money? Maybe I’ll go on vacation!”

According to the Virginia Lottery, all profits go to K-12 education in Virginia. Northampton County  received more than $1.8 million in Lottery funds last fiscal year.

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