The odds can be long for lotto games, but the Virginia Lottery draws enough excitement to hit a big payday from time to time. That was true Wednesday when the lottery confirmed a Manassas, VA, man’s $893,315 win in the Cash 5 with EZ Match game.
Jay House bought his ticket ahead of the Aug. 16 drawing.
“It feels great to win,” he told Virginia Lottery officials before his picture with the big check.
House bought the ticket at a Manassas CVS. He said he’d put the win toward bills, a trip and his retirement nest egg.
“You’ve got to be in it to win it,” he added.
How to play Cash 5
Think of the game as a mini version of Powerball or Mega Millions. The key difference is: There is no sixth colored ball in a separate bin to round out a winning combo.
For Cash 5, Virginia Lottery players just need to go 5-for-5 instead.
The odds are better without the Powerball or Mega Ball in the mix. The jackpots are smaller, of course.
Balls are numbered 1-41. You have 1-in-749,398 odds to land a perfect match.
Cash 5 is only available in Virginia, by the way. It’s not a multi-state game.
Always check your tickets for lesser wins as well. Lotto games aren’t all or nothing. For Cash 5, the odds and prizes are:
- 5 balls — Jackpot
- 4 balls (1 in 4,163) — $200
- 3 balls (1 in 119) — $5
- 2 balls (1 in 10.5) — $1
Once House hit on all five of his numbers, the Cash 5 jackpot reset to its $100,000 starting point.
The jackpot climbed back up to $172,000 as of the Aug. 24 drawing,
EZ Mach is an instant win
Players can spend an extra dollar for EZ Match, which is a game within the Cash 5 game.
For the extra buck, players get a random set of five numbers. You win instantly if any of your five EZ Match numbers match any of your Cash 5 numbers.
With EZ Match, any one number that matches a number in your Cash 5 play is a win. Then, a prize from below is randomly selected and assigned to you as the cashier hands you the ticket:
- $500 — 1-in-84,000 odds
- $250 — 1 in 42,000
- $100 — 1 in 12,000
- $50 — 1 in 4,200
- $20 — 1 in 1,680
- $15 — 1 in 1,050
- $10 — 1 in 112
- $5 — 1 in 280
- $4 — 1 in 76
- $3 — 1 in 13.6
- $2 — 1 in 9.4
Virginia Lottery games generated about $779 million for K-12 education in the most recent budget year.