This VA Lotto Player Won $200,000 With 40 Identical Winning Pick 4 Tickets

Written By Dann Stupp on September 23, 2021
VA Lotto

With an epic Pick 4 haul, one VA Lotto player has turned a somber anniversary date into a pretty great memory.

Lottery officials recently announced that a player from the city of Petersburg scored quite a win with a recent Pick 4 drawing.

Michael Raines won the Pick 4 a staggering 40 times in one drawing. His total score? A cool $200,000.

And perhaps best of all, Raines was able to turn a sad memory into a happier one with the Virginia Lottery winnings.

VA Lotto

Raines purchased 40 tickets for the June 8 drawing earlier this year. He purchased the winning tix at Little Food Market, which is located at 908 Halifax Street in Petersburg.

Raines used the numbers 1-2-2-0 for each slip. His good luck resulted in 40 jackpots of $5,000 each.

Each Pick 4 ticket from the VA Lotto cost $1. He laid out $40 for his batch of winning tickets, so he was $199,960 in the black. Not a bad return on investment, eh?

But perhaps best of all, Raines was able to make the memory of his mother’s death a little easier to handle. He played the numbers 1-2-2-0 because they’re the anniversary of her death. He played the numbers to commemorate the date.

As he said:

“It’s like she was looking out for me.”

Plus, let’s be honest: That official press photo is sure to bring a smile to your face.

Is it bad strategy to buy duplicate Pick 4 tickets?

So, is the strategy of buying identical Pick 4 tickets for the same VA Lotto drawing a good one?

Well, first things first: If you played the Pick 4 indefinitely, you’ll eventually go belly up, no matter what your starting bankroll is. Pick 4 players have a 1-in-10,000 chance of winning the Pick 4 (on a straight bet), but they’re paid only $5,000 if they win. That 50% house edge is eventually going to eat away your funds over the long haul, no matter how many times you win along the way.

Of course, in the short term, anything is possible, as the VA Lotto June 6 winner proved.

After all, even if Raines played the VA Lotto Pick 4 twice a day every day, as is available – and even if he purchased 40 tickets for every drawing – it would take him 6.7 years to burn through his June 6 winnings. Even, in fact, if he didn’t hit another single jackpot along the way.

However, whether it’s buying 40 tickets for one drawing, or one ticket for 40 drawings, your odds of winning the Pick 4 jackpot are always the same. Because Pick 4 winners don’t have to split the pot, the prize pool isn’t diluted by having multiple winners. So, your odds of winning and your expected winnings remain unchanged from drawing to drawing.

More than anything, though, just remember the main rule of the lottery: Keep it fun. Wager only what you can afford to lose, and take a break the moment it no longer is.

Photo by Virginia Lottery
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Dann Stupp

Dann Stupp is a longtime sports journalist who’s written and edited for The Athletic, USA Today, ESPN, and other outlets. He lives in Lexington, Virginia.

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