Humans are inherently creatures of habit. Some take the same route to work each day. Others order the same meal from the same restaurant. And some follow the same regimented schedule day in and day out.
Recently, one Virginia Lottery player’s particular habit paid off.
Virginia Lottery player makes a habit out of winning
Ben Shuler’s routine leading up to the March 28 drawing of the Virginia Lottery’s Pick 4 game included playing the same number combination for 30 different entries into the Dominion State lottery game: 0-8-1-6.
It was past midnight the day of the drawing when Shuler’s cousin called him to let him know it was their lucky day. Unfortunately, the cousin used the winning combination only on one entry.
Shuler bet $1 on 29 of the tickets, which won him the maximum prize of $5,000 for each slip. For an unknown reason, he placed 50 cents on one ticket, which still returned a nice price of $2,500.
In total, the Virginian won $147,500 from just one drawing and one combination of numbers. Not often does sticking to your guns pay off in such dividends. This lottery player’s habit, however, paid generously.
The odds of winning only one entry in Pick 4 is 1 in 10,000. But the odds of winning 30 entries is exponentially higher. Factor in that all winning entries occurred in one drawing and your calculator may start smoking because the number is so high.
Shuler, a resident of Herndon, purchased 27 tickets from High Up Food Mart on Community Plaza Drive in Sterling and the other three from the 7-11 on Towncenter Plaza in Sterling.
Fellow players use similar strategies
Larry Speight of Carrolltown followed the same thought process as Shuler when selecting his Pick 4 numbers for the March 19 drawing. Speight drew inspiration from license plates he’d seen on Virginia roadways, leading him to choose the combination 8-6-6-0.
Speight told the Virginia Lottery:
“I wanted to hit big! If you’ve got a good feeling with it, roll with it!”
Speight proved he doesn’t just talk the talk, he walks the walk. He purchased 42 entries with the same digit sequence. In total, he won $210,000. He purchased his tickets at Five Brother Quick Stop on Mercury Boulevard in Hampton.
To play Pick 4, you can either make an entry for $1 or 50 cents. Then, you select a four-digit sequence ranging from 0000 to 9999. After that, you can select from the following game types:
- Exact order: Match your numbers in order with the winning numbers.
- Any order: No matter the order the numbers are drawn, you’re a winner if your numbers match.
- 50/50: For a $1 entry, 50 cents can go to exact order, and the other 50 cents can go to any order
- Combo: Play exact order for all variations of your four-digit number
To somewhat insure a gamble, Virginians can opt into the FIREBALL drawing following each Pick 4 selection, which happens once in the afternoon and once at night.
In this game, another number will be chosen from balls numbered 0-9. You then use the FIREBALL number to replace one of the Pick 4 numbers. If that matches one of the four new number combinations, you win a FIREBALL prize.
Opting into FIREBALL doubles the cost of your initial Pick 4 entry.