- What happens to unclaimed prizes?
By law, unclaimed prize money is returned to the prize fund for second chance drawings, additional prizes in games and other promotional efforts. Beginning July 1, 1996, the Unclaimed Prize Fund also paid 1¼% out of the 7% retailer commission.
- What happens to annual jackpot payments if the winner dies before collecting all of the prize installments?
In case of a winner's death, the West Virginia Lottery will continue to pay the annual payments, as scheduled, to the winner's ESTATE, trust or person(s) named in his or her will. The Lottery does NOT keep the money; the state does NOT take it. It is possible for legal action to be taken to have the lump cash sum remaining in an annuity to be made payable to the estate.
The Lottery recommends that all jackpot winners consult a financial advisor and competent attorney as soon as possible.
- What happens if I accidentally lose a winning ticket?
The West Virginia Lottery is not responsible for lost or stolen tickets. Protect yourself by immediately printing and signing your name as it appears on your government issued identification on the back of any winning tickets. It is important to remember that West Virginia Lottery tickets are bearer instruments and unless signed by the rightful winner, anyone in possession of the ticket may file a claim.
- How long do I have to collect on a winning ticket?
A winner has 180 days from the drawing date to collect on-line game cash prizes and 180 days from the game ending date for instant games. Please note that under State Law, retailers are allowed to sell tickets up until the expiration date. Please refer to www.wvlottery.com for a complete list of new games, current games and games that have ended.
- Can lottery winnings be claimed by mail?
Yes. You can claim any prize by mailing (we suggest certified or registered mail) your ticket to: West Virginia Lottery Claims, P.O. Box 2913, Charleston, WV 25330. Be sure to sign the back of your tickets and include your postal address. You MUST include a copy of your driver's license or state ID and a copy of your social security card. We also encourage you to keep a photocopy of your ticket.
- Are Lottery prizes taxable?
Yes. All prizes are subject to income taxes. The Lottery must withhold federal and state taxes from each prize over $5,000. The Lottery withholds 25% for federal taxes and 6.5% for West Virginia state taxes. Non-US residents’ prizes are subject to federal back-up withholding.
- Avoiding Lottery Scams
Always guard your personal information. Attempts to deceive people into believing that they have won a lottery prize are now commonplace. Scammers are looking for sensitive personal information such as a your name, address, phone number, date of birth, Social Security number, bank or credit card account number and ultimately - your money in an effort to defraud you.
- If you receive a "winning notification" by mail, email or phone that you are a West Virginia Lottery or Mega Millions or any other Lottery prize winner: The West Virginia Lottery does not send out winning notifications via postal mail. You will never be contacted by phone or email, unless you entered a specific second chance drawing from the West Virginia Lottery. There is no other circumstance where you will be contacted by us informing you that you've won a prize.
- If you receive a check with directions to cash and return a portion of the cash, do not respond. The check is not valid and will be returned for insufficient funds. No legitimate lottery will ever send you this type of communication.
- Do not be fooled into providing personal information to scammers. Scammers often provide Internet-based claim forms or request personal information over the phone, such as credit card or bank account information.
- If you are requested to pay a fee before winnings can be released to you, this is a fraud. Never send money. A legitimate lottery will never require you to pay money for advanced fees to cover expenses associated with the delivery of "winning prizes."
- Never redeem a Lottery ticket for someone you do not know. Never pay cash to someone offering to sell a "winning ticket."
- Never accept a collect phone call from someone claiming to be a Lottery official. You will never be asked to accept charges or to pay for anything in advance of claiming a legitimate prize.
- Only purchase West Virginia Lottery tickets from one of our licensed lottery retailers located in the state of West Virginia.
- If you feel you have been a victim of fraud you should: Contact your state’s Attorney General to report it. Read the information and tips put out by the Federal Trade Commission about scams. Forward the suspicious email to the Federal Trade Commission's address for unsolicited commercial email at firstname.lastname@example.org . Notify the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) of the FBI by filing a complaint on their web site at: www.ic3.gov.
- When did the West Virginia Lottery start?
State voters approved the Lottery Amendment to the West Virginia Constitution on November 6, 1984 by a vote of 67% for the issue to 33% against. The West Virginia Legislature passed the Lottery Act in April 1985, which was signed in May by Gov. Arch A. Moore, Jr. The first instant tickets were sold on January 9, 1986. More than 1.5 million tickets were sold the first day.
- Is the West Virginia Lottery audited?
Yes. The West Virginia Lottery employs an internal auditor, is audited each year by an independent auditing firm and is subject to Legislative audits. An independent auditing firm observes all game drawings.
- How many West Virginia Lottery employees are there?
The Lottery employs more than 170 people. Contracts for providing online games, instant tickets and field services (through GTech) provide employment for additional West Virginians.
- How do I know that the Lottery is safe?
The Lottery is one of the most closely scrutinized agencies in state government and is structured with a comprehensive oversight network of numerous checks and balances. All financial records are audited by several entities; the background of every employee, vendor, and licensed retailer must pass an in-depth security check in conjunction with the West Virginia State Police. Numerous security measures are included in the drawing procedures to assure their randomness and integrity. A staff that includes a security officer, an event manager and an independent auditor oversees all drawings.
- Why is the cash amount of the PowerBall® and Mega Millions® jackpots less than the annuity amount?
The annuity amount is the value of the cash amount invested in securities over 30 years.
- Why did you change the Powerball game to make it even harder to hit the jackpot?
There is another side of the coin. The chance of winning any prize under the new Powerball structure (changed January 2009) have improved from 1 in 36.6 to 1 in 35. While the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot increased from 1 in 146 million to 1 in 195 million, the jackpot is higher, grows more quickly, and is hit more often as a result of increased play from the addition of Florida to the Powerball membership.
In additon, the changes allow for players to win $1 million who choose the PowerPlay option and match all five of the white balls drawn, instead of the usual $200,000 cash prize. And receiving enthusiasm from players, the new jackpots will start at a minimum guaranteed $20 million, instead of $15 million.
The reason the odds of the jackpot were changed was because of the addition of Florida players to the game. It follows that the jackpot is hit more frequently with a larger population pool, which would keep it low. Players buy Powerball tickets because they are attracted to large jackpots; sales are driven by the size of the jackpot. As one player said, "Where else can I get the chance of this much money for a dollar, regardless of the odds?"
People who want better odds of winning lots of money can play "Hot Lotto" (odds are 1 in 10.9 million of hitting the jackpot) or for the cash prizes in Cash25, Daily3, and Daily4. Adjustments have to be made to the Powerball jackpot-driven game to provide the big jackpots players have come to expect. The indicator as to what players want is reflected in sales and in this case, big sales are reflective of a big jackpot.
- Which lotteries offer PowerBall®?
PowerBall® is played in 41 States, Washington D.C. and the US Virgin Islands.
The lotteries include Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, DC, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Virgin Islands, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia.
- Which game is the West Virginia Lottery's biggest seller by percentage?
For Fiscal year ending June 30, 2005: West Virginia Lottery instant games were the top seller with 58%, next was PowerBall® with 25%, Keno with 5%, DAILY 3 with 4.8%, CASH 25 with 3% and DAILY 4 with 2%. Other Multi-state games accounted for 1.7%.
- When the PowerBall® and Mega Millions® jackpots are very high, why not have several top prizes of $1 million or $5 million each instead of one $30 million, $50 million or $75 million prize?
The PowerBall® and Mega Millions® games are designed for players wanting large jackpots; sales go up as the jackpot rises. The Lottery provides other on-line games with more frequent winners of smaller prizes. Please note that both games also produce a great deal of second-tier prize winners for matching a certain amount of numbers. Always check your tickets!
- When did Powerball® begin and how has it changed since its inception?
The Multi-State Lottery Association’s first game was LOTTO*AMERICA 7/40® which started sales on Wednesday, February 3, 1988. The first draw was on Saturday, February 13, 1988. MUSL’s second game was LOTTO*AMERICA 6/54® with sales starting on February 5, 1989. The original POWERBALL® game began sales on April 19, 1992. The first POWERBALL® drawing was on April 22, 1992. After more than five years as America’s premier jackpot game, POWERBALL® was updated beginning with the drawing of November 5, 1997. In order to generate larger average jackpots, the game changed from a 5 of 45 white ball plus 1 of 45 red ball game to a 5 of 49 plus 1 of 42 format. Low-tier prize levels were increased, the guaranteed starting jackpot was raised to $10 million, and players were offered the option of taking the jackpot in a lump sum cash payment. In March 2001, a major product enhancement was designed for the POWERBALL® product. This Power Play® feature allows a player to multiply their winnings of all set prizes (all prizes except the jackpot prize) by a number randomly drawn in a wheel spin just before the POWERBALL® drawing. As the population base playing POWERBALL® continued to increase, the matrix was again changed on October 6, 2002 by adding 4 additional balls to the white ball set. No additional balls were added to the red balls with the resulting matrix becoming 5/53 + 1/42. The continued success of the POWERBALL® brand prompted four more states to join the game. The matrix was again changed to insure game performance starting with the drawing of August 31, 2005. Additional enhancements to the game included: minimum jackpots starting at $15 million; the secondary prize raised to $200,000; and the third prize increased to $10,000. While no additional balls were added to the red Powerball set, two additional numbers were added to the white balls resulting in a matrix of 5/55 + 1/42.
On January 1, 2009, the population base playing POWERBALL® increased with the addition of Florida to the membership. A matrix change effective for the drawing held January 7 added four numbers to the selection of white balls and dropped the number of red POWERBALL® numbers to 39. The change improved the overall odds of winning a prize, while providing a minimum jackpot that moved from a guaranteed $15 million to $20 million. Another change affected those who pay a dollar extra for the PowerPlay multiplier option; anyone purchasing a PowerPlay ticket who matches all five white balls automatically wins $1 million, instead of the $200,000 cash prize. Odds of winning any prize dropped from 1 in 36.6 to 1 in 35; odds of winning the jackpot increased from 1 in 146 million to 1 in 195 million, but the jackpot provided is higher and is expected to be hit more often because of the increase in play from Florida's players.
In January of 2012, the game was redesigned to bring more value to its players. Jackpots will start at $40 million and grow faster overall. There will be more chances to win a prize of at least $1 million cash and the overall odds of winning any prize in the game also improved. The ticket price also changed, moving from $1 to $2.
The enriched POWERBALL® game debuted Jan. 15, 2012. Tickets in the game will cost $2 and the Power Play® feature will still be available for an extra $1 per play. For that extra $1, players have the chance to win $2 million cash for the match 5 prize; that is improved from $1 million. While the Power Play now has set prizes, players will still at least double their non-jackpot prizes when they purchase this option.
Players in the newly designed game still choose their first five numbers from a pool of 59. But the group of numbers in the POWERBALL® pool will shrink from 39 to 35, producing better overall odds of winning a prize in the game. Players today have a 1 in 35 overall chance of winning, which will improve to 1 in 31.8 in the revamped game. That means tens of thousands more winners each drawing. The POWERBALL® jackpots will start at $40 million, double the current starting jackpot of $20 million.
In January of 2014 Powerball's Power play option returned to being a multiplier function. Adding a potential 2-5X prize component to all prizes under the match 5 level.
- What states are in the Hot Lotto game?
Hot Lotto is currently sold in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont and West Virginia.
- What is a straight/box bet in DAILY 3 and DAILY 4?
You can play both Daily3 and Daily4 numbers in a "straight/box" bet. This simply means that you are covering your straight bet combination with a box bet. Therefore, if your straight bet wins, you win both the straight amount and the boxed amount. If your numbers do not come up straight, but a combination of your numbers come up, you win only the boxed amount. Keep in mind, 50¢ of your $1 bet goes to each type, therefore your winnings will be half those of just a straight or just a box bet. For a more detailed explanation with visuals, please see our “How To” video tutorial.
- What games does the West Virginia Lottery offer?
Instant (Scratch-Offs) Games, Online games (DAILY 3, DAILY 4, Cash 25, HotLotto®, PowerBall®, "TRAVEL™" Keno”, Mega Millions®), and Video Lottery games at selected locations under the laws governing LVL and RVL. TRAVEL™ Keno games (5-minute draws) are available only in certain "adult environments"; video lottery games and table games are available only at the State’s four casino racetracks and the Greenbrier resort.
- Instant ticket odds are incorrect.
Odds printed on the back of all instant tickets (i.e. 1 in 4.25) are the overall average odds based on the total amount of tickets printed for that game. This means that if you could purchase EVERY ticket that was printed for the game and scratched them all, the number of tickets printed divided by the number of winners found would equal the odds. It does not mean that by purchasing four to five tickets in order at a time will produce a winner. Remember, that the Lottery is a game of chance and not every ticket can be a winner.
- In DAILY 3 and DAILY 4, what are the differences between all of the box bets such as 3-way box, 6-way box, 24-way box, 12-way box, 6-way box and 4-way box? Why is there a varied payout?
A boxed bet is a winner if any combination of your numbers come out as winning numbers.
The 3-way and 6-way box bets as they pertain to the Daily3 game: The term "3-way" and "6-way" refer to the number of combinations that are possible for a certain bet. If your Daily3 bet consists of 3 unique digits, such as 1-2-3, there are 6 different winning combinations possible (1-2-3; 1-3-2; 2-1-3; 2-3-1; 3-1-2; and 3-2-1). This is a 6-way box. A Daily3 number that has 2 like numbers, such as 1-1-2, only has 3 possible winning combinations--1-1-2; 1-2-1; and 2-1-1. This is a 3-way box bet. You win more money for 3-way box bets because there is a lower probability of winning with only 3 possible combinations rather than 6.
The same principle applies to the Daily4 box bets, which are the 24-way, 12-way, 6-way and 4-way boxes. Again, the "24-way" refers to how many possible combinations of a number there are. A Daily4 boxed bet with 4 unique digits, such as 1-2-3-4, has 24 different possible winning combinations. With 24 ways to win, this is the easiest Daily4 box, therefore it has the lowest payout. The 12-way box applies to a number that has 2 like numbers within it, such as 1-1-2-3. The 6-way box has 2 pairs, example 1-1-2-2; and a 4 way box has 3 like numbers, for example 1-1-1-2. The 4-way box has the highest payout of the boxed bets because with only 4 possible combinations, it is the least probable box bet to win. Make sure to view our “How to Play” instructional videos for more information!
- I buy several instant tickets in a row and have no winners. Why can't the Lottery have more winners in an instant game?
A Lottery is a game of chance, and to preserve the integrity of the West Virginia Lottery, printing instant winning tickets is done randomly. We cannot program winning tickets without compromising integrity. There are a certain number of instant winners in every book, but even within each book, winning tickets and their prizes are printed randomly. The prize payouts for West Virginia instant games are considered fairly high. The prize payout averages approximately 68%.
- Does the Lottery place winning instant tickets in certain parts of the state?
No. Winning instant tickets are randomly placed by computer into the packs of instant tickets during the manufacturing process. The Lottery randomly distributes the packs around the state. Because of this system, players in one part of the state have as much chance of buying winning instant tickets as those in any other part of the state.
- Do PowerBall® and Mega Millions® players have to choose the cash or annuity option before buying the ticket?
No, you may choose cash or annuity up to 60 days after claiming a jackpot. Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") rules govern this issue. At one time, the annuity or cash option was required at the time a ticket was purchased. After the enactment of Internal Revenue Code section 451h, a player now may switch from annuity to cash within 60 days of claiming a jackpot.
- Can the Powerball® or Mega Ball numbers be used in the first five numbers?
In short, no. Those numbers cannot become or be used as one of the numbers in the set of five numbers (the white drawing balls); neither may one of those five numbers become the Powerball, Mega Ball or Hot Ball. The two sets of numbers remain separate and apart for drawing and to determine winners. This is how the odds are determined, using TWO different sets of numbers.
- Who plays the West Virginia Lottery?
Research conducted by RMS Strategies shows that the typical Lottery player in West Virginia is a married white female (60%), 25 to 44 years old, with a high school diploma and some college, and an average household income of $20,000 to $40,000. Occupation ranking: 1) Professional / technical; 2) Retired
- Who can play the West Virginia Lottery?
You must be 18 years or older to purchase tickets. You may be younger than 18 to receive tickets as gifts and receive prizes. All tickets must be purchased from authorized lottery retailers in accordance with West Virginia Lottery legislative rules.
- When I buy a Lottery ticket, does the Lottery computer know whether I have won or lost?
No. The purchase of a Lottery ticket and the random drawing of the winning numbers are totally separate. Nobody knows if there is a winner until after the drawing.
- When are the drawings held for Mega Millions®?
Drawings are held Tuesday and Friday at 11 PM. Tickets must be purchased before 9:59 PM on Tuesday and Friday to be included in that night’s drawing. Results are recorded on the Lottery’s phone system, as well as printed on the lottery web site at www.wvlottery.com; they may also be received as a print-out from any WV Lottery retailer.
- What TV stations broadcast the nightly live lottery drawings?
What time is the nightly draw show and where can I watch it?
The West Virginia Lottery nightly draw show airs at 6:59 p.m. ET, Monday-Saturday. The following stations carry the West Virginia Lottery's nightly draw show:
WOAY-TV, Oak Hill
FOX9, Wheeling, W.Va./Stubbenville, Ohio
*Video of each nightly drawing is also uploaded to our web site, where it can be viewed following each drawing. You can access this page here.
- What lotteries participate in the Mega Millions® game?
Lotteries selling Mega Millions® tickets include; Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Conneticut, DC, Delaware, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennesse, Texas, Virginia, Virgin Islands, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin and West Virginia, .
WV began selling tickets for Mega Millions® on Jan. 31, 2010; the first drawing was held Tuesday, Feb. 2.
- Outside of taxes, what other amounts can be withheld from my lottery winnings in West Virginia?
Under state law, the West Virginia Lottery must check for any outstanding child support that is owed and any back state taxes that are owed when an individual is claiming a prize of more than $600. Should a claimant owe either item, that amount will be withheld.
- I live outside West Virginia. How can I buy West Virginia lottery tickets?
West Virginia lottery tickets can be purchased at nearly 1,800 West Virginia lottery retailers statewide. Tickets may not be sold by mail, over the phone, or Internet due to federal interstate commerce laws. You may want to consider a trip to West Virginia. For maps, travel guides and information, call 1-800-CALL WVA!
- How many West Virginia players have won large jackpot prizes? It seems Multi-State prizes are mostly from out-of-state.
Being a smaller state in terms of population, West Virginia has not had many annuities paid. All jackpot prizes won since June, 2002 have been cash payments. The largest prize winning amounts in West Virginia Lottery history are as follows:
• March 20, 1986: Russell Husk, Washington, WV, $3.74 million, Grand Prize Show
• April 17, 1986: John David Flowers, Barboursville, WV, $2 million, GPS
• May 1, 1986: Melva Showalter, Princeton, WV, $950,000, GPS
• May 22, 1986: Gloria Taggart, Beckley, WV, $1.3 million, GPS
• Oct. 16, 1986: Glen Stanley, Pt. Pleasant, WV, $5.6 million, GPS
• Nov. 20, 1986: Grace Clifford, Piney View, WV, $1.5 million, GPS
• Dec. 18, 1986: Sharon Glover, Owensboro, KY, $750,000, GPS
• Dec. 6, 1986: Richard Terry, Hurricane, WV, $303,786, Lotto 6/36
• Jan. 3, 1987: James Morris, Cross Lanes, WV, $1 million, Lotto 6/36
• Jan. 24, 1987: Georgia Waybright, Files Creek, WV, $695,000, Lotto 6/36
• Jan. 31, 1987: Thurman Garrison, Boothsville, WV, $250,000, Lotto 6/36
• Feb. 11, 1987: W.L. Whitlock, Brounland, WV, $665,000 cash jackpot, GPS
• Feb. 14, 1987: 43 Lotto 6/36 winners; split $250,000 jackpot (9 from counties around the Charleston regional office, 3 from counties around Parkersburg's regional office, 6 from counties around Wheeling regional office, 5 from counties around the Martinsburg regional office, 3 in the Elkins region, 5 in the Beckley region, 3 claimed in the Logan regional office, and 4 claimed by those living in counties served by the Huntington regional lottery office.
• Feb. 19, 1987: Dilip Chandran, Elkins, $68,000 cash jackpot, GPS
• Feb. 19, 1987: Jerry Bennett, Davisville, WV, $50,000 cash jpt., GPS
• Feb. 27, 1987: Josephine Settimio, Follansbee, WV, $250,000, Lotto 6/36
• March 7, 1987: Edwin Tapia, Levitown, PA, $550,000, Lotto 6/36
• March 19, 1987: Mickey Coskey, Daniels, WV, $276,000, cash GPS
• May 30, 1987: Jerry Bowen, Colloden, WV $1,704,000, Lotto 6/36
• June 13, 1987: Glen Copen on behalf of eight players, Davis, WV, $250,000, Lotto 6/36
• June 20, 1987: Roberta Baxter, Berkeley Springs, WV, $250,000, Lotto 6/36
• July 2, 1987: Jim Price, Fairmont, WV, $175,000 cash GPS
• Dec. 19, 1987: James Benzo, Follansbee, WV, $2,850,000, Lotto 6/36
• Dec. 29, 1987: Tom Raber, Belmont, WV, $725,000 cash GPS
• April 6, 1988: Joyce Cook, Barboursville, WV, $1,275,000, Lotto 6/36
• Oct. 12, 1988: Nellie Proffitt, Boissevain, VA, $550,000, Lotto 6/36
• Nov. 30, 1988: Alex Hancher, Central City, PA, $500,00 Lotto 6/36
• Aug. 16, 1989: W.B. Kluesner, Beckley, WV, $2,600,000 Lotto 6/36
• July 19, 1989: David Carter, Martinsburg, WV, $1 million (split $2 million w/ MO player), Lotto America
• Oct. 21, 1989: Byron Herder, Warrenton, Va, $5.6 million (split $11.2 million w/ RI player), Lotto America
• Jan. 6, 1990: Marvetta Coffman, Parkersburg, WV, $17.52 million, Lotto America
• Nov. 21, 1990: Arnel Collins, Morgantown, WV, $3.9 million (split $7.8 mill. w/ Kansas), Lotto America
• Sept. 10, 1994: James Graves, Maybeury, WV, $8,228,649, Powerball
• June 24, 1995: Roger Boone, Lewisburg, WV, $23.8 million, Powerball
• *Special note, not a jackpot* -- December 17, 1999: Kathy Wiseman, Charleston, WV, $1 million, Countdown 2000 Second Chance game
• June 8, 2002: Robert Cogar, Point Marion, PA, $30.6 million jackpot; $12 million CASH OPTION, Powerball
• Dec. 25, 2002: Jack Whittaker, Hurricane, WV, $314.9 million jkpt.; $170.5 million CASH OPTION, Powerball
• March 3, 2003: Hobert Parnell, Rocky Gap, VA, $62.4 million jackpot; $33.6 million CASH OPTION, Powerball
• June 29, 2005: 15 FEMA workers, Berryville, VA $10 million Jackpot; $5.8 million CASH OPTION, Powerball
• July 30, 2005: Diane Ellis, Charleston, WV, $1.75 million jackpot; $1,076,509 CASH OPTION, Hot Lotto
• *Special note, not a jackpot* -- October 21, 2005: Robin Davis claimed West Virginia’s top cash prize from the $340 million Powerball drawing on behalf of 19 hair stylists from Charles Town, WV. Including their $200,000 prize and their share of the cash pool, the total prize was $853,492.
• March 18, 2006: Donald Cox, Winchester, Virginia, $8.5 million jackpot; $5 million CASH OPTION, Hot Lotto
• *Special note, not a jackpot* -- December 6, 2006: Galdys Shilling, St. Albans, WV, $2 million, 20th Anniversary Second Chance game
• March 15, 2008: Eight Monongalia County Tax Office employees claimed $139.4 million CASH OPTION from a $276 million Powerball jackpot.
• *Special note, not a jackpot* -- Feb. 5, 2009: Jeff McNew, Chesapeake, Va., $1 million for match-5 from Powerball with the Powerplay option.
• *Special note, not a jackpot* -- April 8, 2010: Frank and Patricia Proud, Durbin, WV, $1 million for match-5 from Powerball with the Powerplay option.
• August 23, 2010: Randy Smith, Martinsburg, WV, $79 million jackpot, $44 million CASH OPTION from Powerball jackpot.
• *Special note, not a jackpot* -- June 22, 2011: Mark Boggs, Sissonville, WV, wins $1 million in the W.Va. Lottery 25th Anniversary Second-Chance Drawing
• *Special note, not a jackpot* -- Jan. 6, 2012: John Wiles, Tunnelton, WV, wins $1 million Mega Millions prize for matching five numbers with the Megaplier option.
• *Special note, not a jackpot* -- March 5, 2012: Michael Shaver and Ronald Simmons, both Vietnam Veterans from Weston, WV, share $14 million in winnings from Powerball for matching five numbers with the Powerplay option seven times on the same drawing.
• *Special note, not a jackpot* -- March 29, 2012: Judy Price, Fairview, WV, wins $1 million from Mega Millions for matching 5 numbers with the Megaplier option.
• *Special note, not a jackpot* -- June 4, 2012: John Robinson, Beckley, WV, wins $1 million from Powerball for matching 5 numbers.
• *Special note, not a jackpot* -- Dec. 21, 2012: Terry Brumfield, Harts, WV, wins $1 million from Powerball for matching 5 numbers.
• *Special note, not a jackpot* -- March 8, 2013: Mary Carr, Barboursville, WV, wins $1 million from Powerball for matching 5 numbers.
• *Special note, not a jackpot* -- March 8, 2013: The Gillispie Family (Doug, Chad, Todd and Tiffany Price), Julian, WV, win $1 million from Powerball for matching 5 numbers.
• *Special note, not a jackpot* -- August 22, 2013: Harry Seal, Martinsburg, WV, wins $1 million from Powerball for matching 5 numbers.
• *Special note, not a jackpot* -- October 7, 2013: David Feamster, Rupert, WV, wins $1 million from Powerball for matching 5 numbers.
• *Special note, not a jackpot* -- February 7, 2014: Randy Brown, Man, WV, wins $1 million from Mega Millions for matching 5 numbers.
• *Special note, not a jackpot* -- February 8, 2014: "The Beckley 27" (co-workers at the Register-Herald), Beckley, WV, wins $1 million from Powerball for matching 5 numbers.
• *Special note, not a jackpot* -- February 19, 2014: "The IMS Dreamers" (Twelve co-workers at Innovative Mattress Solutions in Winfield), Winfield, WV, wins $1 million from Powerball for matching 5 numbers.
• *Special note, not a jackpot* -- March 18, 2014: Beverly Swartzmiller, Sistersville, WV, wins $2 million from Powerball for matching 5 numbers with the Powerplay option.
• *Special note, not a jackpot* -- March 31, 2014: Katie Ivers, Pullman, WV, wins $1 million from Powerball for matching 5 numbers.
• *Special note, not a jackpot* -- April 25, 2014: Jeff Carver, Belle, WV, claims $1 million from Mega Millions for matching 5 numbers.
• *Special note, not a jackpot* -- May 5, 2014: Pam Garretson and Penny Fitzpatrick, Crab Orchard, WV, claims $1 million from Powerball for matching 5 numbers.
• *Special note, not a jackpot* -- May 5, 2014: Ricky Hall, Arnoldsburg, WV, claims $1 million from Powerball for matching 5 numbers.
• *Special note, not a jackpot* -- May 6, 2014: Angel Gonzales, Ranson, WV, claims $2 million from Powerball for matching 5 numbers with the Powerplay option.
• *Special note, not a jackpot* -- May 17, 2014: Hartzell "John" Lancaster, Weirton, WV, claims $1 million from Powerball for matching 5 numbers.
• *Special note, not a jackpot* -- Aug. 2, 2014: Robert Carter, Poca, WV, wins $1 million from Powerball for matching 5 numbers.
• *Special note, not a jackpot* -- Dec. 20, 2014: David Tefft, Parkersburg, WV, wins $2 million from Powerball for matching 5 numbers with the Powerplay option.
• *Special note, not a jackpot* -- Jan. 14, 2015: “The Fabulous Five,” a group of five co-workers from the Kanawha County Emergency Ambulance Authority, South Charleston, WV, claims $1 million from Mega Millions for matching 5 numbers.
• *Special note, not a jackpot* -- Jan. 14, 2016: Steven Wilson, East Liverpool, Ohio, claims $1 million from Powerball for matching 5 numbers.
• *Special note, not a jackpot* -- July 5, 2016: Sam & Barb Ratliff, Elkview, W.Va., claim $1 million from Powerball for matching 5 numbers.
• *Special note, not a jackpot* -- July 11, 2016: Robert Lane, Fairmont, W.Va., claim $1 million from Powerball for matching 5 numbers.
• *Special note, not a jackpot* -- August 12, 2016: "The Mountaineer 26," a group of 26 former and current WVU employees, claim $1 million from Mega Millions for matching 5 numbers.
Sales correspond directly with the number of winners by any given member of the MultiState Lottery. The odds of any ticket winning are exactly the same, regardless of where it is sold. I.e., the largest prize in the world –at the time—was sold in West Virginia’s Putnam County, while the bulk of winners for the drawing were found in areas with higher sales. The top 10 sales counties in WV were located along the borders where there was an influx across state lines to purchase tickets.
The largest of West Virginia's Powerball prizes was a $314.9 million jackpot won by Jack Whittaker, who bought a ticket at C&L Super Serve in Hurricane for the December 25, 2002 drawing.
The second largest prize won by a ticket purchased in West Virginia was a $276 million (CO $139.4 million) claimed by eight Monongalia Tax Office employees from a ticket bought at Paula’s in Westover for the March 15, 2008 drawing.
The third highest WV jackpot was a $79 million Powerball jackpot won by Randy Smith of Martinsburg, W.Va. He took the $44 million cash option and bought his ticket at the Mountaineer ROCS in Martinsburg.
The fourth highest WV jackpot was a $62.4 million Powerball jackpot won by Hobert Parnell, a VA resident, who bought a winning Powerball ticket in Bluefield at Blue Flash Food Mart #5 for the drawing held March 25, 2003.
The fifth largest was a $30.6 million Powerball prize won by Robert Cogar, a PA resident. Cogar's ticket was bought at Cottrell's Country Store in Morgantown for the drawing held June 8, 2002.
James Graves of Maybeury won an $8.2 million Powerball jackpot in 1994 from a ticket purchased at Fast Stop in Princeton. Roger Boone of Lewisburg won a $24 million Powerball prize in 1995 from a ticket purchased at Crawford's Foodland in Fairlea. Fifteen FEMA works claimed a $10 million Powerball jackpot in 2005 with a ticket purchased at Sheetz in Charles Town.
In the summer of 2005, Diane Ellis of South Charleston claimed a $1.07 million Hot Lotto jackpot with a ticket purchased from Prima 7-Eleven in South Charleston, becoming West Virginia's first Hot Lotto winner.
An $8.5 million Hot Lotto jackpot was claimed in 2006 by Donald Cox of Winchester, Virginia, from a ticket purchased at State Line Market in Bunker Hill.
Winning Lotto*America jackpot prizes from 1989 to 1990 were:
July 19, 1989: David Carter, Martinsburg, WV, $1 million (split $2 million w/ MO player)
Oct. 21, 1989: Byron Herder, Warrenton, Va, $5,6 million (split $11.2 million w/ RI player)
Jan. 6, 1990: Marvetta Coffman, Parkersburg, WV, $17.52 million
Nov. 21, 1990: Arnel Collins, Morgantown, WV, $3.9 million (split $7.8 mill. w/ Kansas)
In addition, 13 jackpots were won on the West Virginia Lottery's Grand Prize show won nearly $18 million from 1986 to 1988 and 15 jackpots were won from Lotto 6/36 totaling more than $13 million.
The odds of winning for every ticket are exactly the same, regardless of the state, county, or retailer from which it is purchased. Understandably, however, there will be more winners in areas of greater population because of increased participation. All profits generated by MultiState game sales remain in the state in which the tickets are purchased.
- How does the Lottery make sure its drawings are random?
The West Virginia Lottery goes to great lengths to ensure the randomness of its drawings and to eliminate any possibility of a breach of security that could jeopardize integrity.
All equipment is stored in a locked area of our drawing studio. Further, a numbered and recorded seal secures each ball case. Each seal is checked and verified every night prior to drawings by the Lottery’s security officer, the event manager and the independent auditor. For each game, we have multiple sets of balls. The ball sets to be used are randomly selected prior to each drawing by the independent auditor. The auditor monitors all drawing activities to make absolutely certain that all procedures approved by the Director are followed. All drawing-related activities are recorded on both video and audiotape. Prior to every drawing, pretests are conducted and following every drawing posttests are conducted to ensure the random drawing of numbers – to ensure that no one digit is drawn more often than another. Each set of balls is regularly weighed and measured down to 1/1000 of a gram by the WV Department of Weights and Measures. All Lottery drawings are open to the public.
- How does Mega Millions® differ from Powerball®?
Actually, they are played the same. The multiplier associated with Mega Millions® is called the Megaplier, which includes numbers 2-5 that can be drawn to multiply prizes. The Megaplier does not apply to the jackpot; it costs $1 extra to purchase.
The single sixth digit in the game is called the Mega Ball.
The five Mega Millions® numbers are chosen from a field of 75; the Mega Ball is chosen from a field of 15.
Prizes range from $1 from matching only the Mega Ball, to the jackpot for matching all five balls, plus the Mega Ball. A $1 million cash prize is won for matching all five of the set of five numbers.
As with Powerball®, the numbers cannot be switched, in that a Mega Ball number cannot become one of the five numbers, nor can one of the five numbers become a Mega Ball number.
Odds of hitting the Mega Millions® jackpot are 1 in 258,890,850 (odds for the Powerball® jackpot are 1 in 175,233,510).
- How can I get winning numbers?
For winning numbers call 1-800-WVA-CASH (982-2274). Numbers may also be obtained through any Lottery retail location, newspapers, radio stations, or through our website www.wvlottery.com. The West Virginia Lottery is only responsible for numbers provided through its phone service and website.
- Can lottery tickets be purchased by phone, mail or Internet?
No. Current law prohibits such sales. Also, federal interstate trade laws prohibit the sale of tickets across state lines. Tickets must be purchased at an authorized West Virginia Lottery retailer location.
- Can a group of people share a Lottery prize?
Yes, some Lottery prizes (e.g. PowerBall®, Mega Millions®, Hot Lotto® and CASH 25) can be shared. This decision must be made at the time of claim. Some restrictions do apply. The individuals and their respective shares are reported for tax purposes. PowerBall® annuity checks are sent to each individual.
- Who decides how proceeds are used?
Each year the West Virginia Legislature appropriates net profits deposited into the State Lottery Fund to various programs benefiting education, senior citizen and tourism programs. The placement of basic skill education computers in classrooms statewide and programs under the School Building Authority, Education & Arts, Senior Services, as well as Natural Resources and Tourism are most of the beneficiaries of Lottery revenues. The Lottery, itself, has no authority over where proceeds are directed.
- Where does the money go?
Over 50% of all West Virginia Lottery instant and online ticket sales have been returned to players in prizes. State law requires that at least 45% of total revenue be paid in prizes. Retailers who sell tickets receive 7% of sales. Not more than 15% of the Lottery’s total revenue may be spent on operating costs. The remainder is profits transferred to the State Lottery Fund for appropriation by the Legislature to Education, Senior Citizen and Tourism programs.
- What benefits do retailers get from selling tickets?
Retailers receive 7% commission on ticket sales. Incentives such as a 1% cashing bonus of prizes from $1 to $600, a 1% selling bonus for prizes of $500 or more (up to a $100,000 top bonus for winning Powerball, Mega Millions and Hot Lotto tickets) and various other retailer promotions are used.
- Since several states sell PowerBall®, Mega Millions® and HotLotto™, which state gets the profits from the tickets sold in West Virginia?
The profits from PowerBall®, Mega Millions® and HotLotto™ tickets sold in West Virginia; stay in West Virginia!
- Since several states sell PowerBall®, Mega Millions® and HotLotto™, which state gets the profits from the tickets sold in West Virginia?
The profits from PowerBall®, Mega Millions® and HotLotto® tickets sold in West Virginia; stay in West Virginia!
- What is Video Lottery?
In the state of West Virginia, Video Lottery is the legal use of player interactive gaming machines similar to those commonly known as “slot” machines in the casino industry. As of 1994, video lottery was approved, with restraints set forth by law, at West Virginia’s four thoroughbred and greyhound racetracks. The issue had to be approved by voters in the counties in which each track is located.
In 2001, the West Virginia Legislature passed a bill allowing for a limited number of video lottery machines in adult environments. It is referred to as the “Limited Video Lottery Act.” The measure outlawed pre-existing “gray” or “poker” machines and restricted the number of Limited Video Lottery terminals to no more than 9,000. The environments in which they are permitted are classified as adult-only based on the fact that they possess a Class A, Alcohol and Beverage Commission (ABCA) license and meet various other legal requirements.
- What is the difference between the Video Lottery at the racetracks and “Limited Video Lottery”?
It should be noted that the machines in both environments are the same with exception to “reel and coin drop” machines that are allowed only in the racetrack environment.
Video lottery machines are stand-alone, player-interactive gaming machines with a video simulation of the common “slot” machine. Prior to the fall of 1999, the video lottery machines in racetracks were all voucher, ticket printing machines, sold by a number of state licensed manufacturers. West Virginia law was developed to allow the licensed racetracks to offer some actually “slot” machines that did not use a video simulation and some machines that dropped coins instead of issuing vouchers. The limited video lottery product, in the non-racetrack environment, remains confined to video simulation and vouchers. Limited video lottery games in West Virginia must pay out no less than 80 percent and no more than 95 percent. Video Lottery games located at the state racetracks and casinos must pay out between 80 percent and no more than 99.9% by law.
- How are the profits spent for each one – Racetrack and Limited Video Lottery?
In general, profits from video lottery gaming fund West Virginia programs for senior citizens, education and tourism. In 2000, House Bill 102 capped the lottery’s four percent administrative allowance under the Racetrack Video Lottery Act at the fiscal year 2001 level. Today, excess funds are deposited into the State’s Excess Lottery Revenue Fund, used to provide West Virginia students with college scholarships and to back bonds for economic development endeavors. West Virginia cities and counties also receive two percent of the State’s revenues produced by the limited video lottery machines located within their geographic boundaries.