At the start of July, the Virginia Lottery tried something new, a considerable expansion of its online offerings. So far, the experiment seems to be going quite well.
Within the first 23 days of its new online platform going live, Virginia players had already won more than $20 million playing the lottery online.
Yes, Virginia, you can play the lottery online
Prior to July 1, only subscriptions to Powerball and the Mega Millions (with a four-game minimum) could be purchased online in Virginia.
That menu of online options has become much larger, now including:
- Powerball and Mega Millions (single tickets)
- Instant-win games
- Electronic scratcher games
In Portsmouth, WAVY reports that more than 4.3 million wins have come online in just a little over three weeks.
Almost 30,000 unique players have earned prizes. One man from Arlington won $25,000 online on July 12 when playing Blackjack Doubler.
Virginia Lottery Executive Director Kevin Hall had earlier speculated the expansion of online offerings would expand the customer base. Hall was similarly sanguine when commenting on the online games’ fast start.
“We’re excited that customers really like the convenience and reliability of this new way of playing,” said Hall.
Choices for online lottery players in Virginia will be expanding even further. Next year, the Virginia Lottery plans to start, including the popular Pick 3, Pick 4 and Cash 5 games among its online offerings.
Culpeper man wins $5 million
Speaking of other offerings, Frankie Bowles, of Culpeper, recently playing the 50X The Money game at one of Virginia’s 5,300 retail locations, revealed a nice surprise after scratching off his ticket.
The Culpeper Star-Exponent reports how Bowles purchased the $20 ticket at a 7-Eleven on Main Street in Culpeper. He returned to his car, and while sitting in the parking lot, scratched his ticket to find he had won the $5 million top prize.
That was quite a bit more than 50 times the ticket price. It was more like 250,000 times the money for Bowles. According to the Virginia Lottery, the odds of winning the $5 million prize are 1 in 1,795,200.
Bowles had a choice between receiving the entire $5 million in annual payments over 30 years or getting a one-time cash payment of just over $3 million before taxes. He chose the latter cash option.
Bowles has no plans as yet for his winnings beyond paying off some bills.