Is Something Evil Behind Virginia Lottery’s $8M in Pick 4 Jackpots?

Posted on October 5, 2020 - Last Updated on November 13, 2020

A number of Virginia Lottery players might be walking around with some sinister smiles this week thanks to the winning Pick 4 numbers.

After all, they took the VA Lottery for $8 million with the Pick 4 drawing on Sunday.

The player windfall is the result of the drawing’s unique winning numbers: 6-6-6-6.

In all, the Virginia Lottery took in $492,356 in total Pick 4 plays for the Oct. 4 evening drawing. However, it paid out $8 million in prizes, which means players came out $7,507,644 ahead on the drawing.

Virginia Lottery spokesperson John Hagerty told PlayVirginia that the lottery’s customer service centers “have been extremely busy” as players claimed their winnings on Monday. In fact, he said, the centers in the Northern Virginia, Richmond, and Hampton Roads areas had lines of winners awaiting for them to open and cash their winning tickets.

So, how did one Pick 4 drawing create so many winners? Well, it wasn’t just devilishly good luck that resulted in that massive player payday.

VA Lottery’s popular Pick 4 numbers

As the VA Lottery mentioned in its Pick 4 announcement, quadruple numbers (or “quads”) are some of lottery players’ most popular choices.

Additionally, in Virginia, the Pick 4 has fixed odds. If a player matches all four numbers on a $1 ticket, he or she receives the guaranteed $5,000 jackpot. Unlike multi-state lottery games such as Mega Million or Powerball, officials don’t split the jackpot if there are multiple winners.

The VA Lottery Pick 4 winning numbers were also 6-6-6-6 for the AM drawing on March 26, 2014. The first and only other time came on July 21, 1999, during the PM drawing.

However, it’s not the only time quads or other popular four-digit numbers have won the Pick 4. Whether players were being superstitious (7-7-7-7), cliche (1-2-3-4), juvenile (8-0-0-8), or even randy (6-9-6-9), here’s the last time other popular numbers popped up in the Pick 4, according to VALottery.com:

  • 0-0-0-0: Jan. 24, 2008 (PM drawing)
  • 0-0-0-1: June 29, 2001 (AM)
  • 1-0-1-0: May 16, 2010 (PM)
  • 1-1-1-1: Jan. 15, 2007 (PM)
  • 1-2-3-4: June 25, 2016 (AM)
  • 1-4-9-2: Jan. 5, 2020 (PM)
  • 1-7-7-6: Never
  • 2-2-2-2: Oct. 25, 2015 (PM)
  • 3-1-4-1: May 7, 2019 (AM)
  • 3-3-3-3: Never
  • 4-3-2-1: Dec. 18, 2014 (AM)
  • 4-4-4-4: Feb. 28, 2013 (AM)
  • 5-5-5-5: Oct. 12, 2012 (PM)
  • 6-6-6-6: Oct. 4, 2020 (PM)
  • 6-9-6-9: Never
  • 7-7-7-7: April 13, 2004 (AM)
  • 8-0-0-8: Never
  • 8-8-8-8: Oct. 2, 2015 (PM)
  • 9-9-9-9: July 11, 2018 (PM)

The Virginia Lottery began offering the Pick 4 on Sept. 30, 1991. Drawings take place twice daily.

More Pick 4 lottery lore

The Virginia Lottery’s Pick 4 game is becoming a bit of a media sensation.

The commonwealth’s official lottery recently generated some headlines in September after some players scored multiple Pick 4 jackpots.

In fact, one player won a single Pick 4 drawing 25 times. That resulted in a payday of $125,000 after each identical ticket added $5,000 to the grand total.

A few weeks later, another player accomplished the same feat with 20 tickets for a $100,000 payday.

The odds of winning the Pick 4 with an exact-order match are 1 in 10,000. Tickets are $1 each, so the $5,000 grand prize represents a meager 50% payout of the pot.

However, as we saw with the ungodly amount of 6-6-6-6 winners, even those long odds don’t guarantee the Virginia Lottery a profitable draw every time.

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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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