A Virginia Lottery player may have had a feeling of luck, as he didn’t just purchase a single Pick 4 ticket for the March 8th drawing, but rather 20. The man chose the same four numbers for every one of the 20 tickets.
Fekru Hirpo was presented with a $100,000 check from the Virginia Lottery after winning Pick 4 with 20 identical tickets worth $5,000 each. All proceeds from the Virginia Lottery go towards K-12 public education in the commonwealth. (Image: Virginia Lottery)
The Virginia Lottery’s Pick 4 is drawn twice a day at 1:59 pm and 11:00 pm EST. Players are tasked with selecting a four-digit combination to win the game’s top prize of $5,000. In order to win, the player’s four numbers must match the order in which the winning numbers were drawn.
On March 8, Alexandria resident Fekru Hirpo bought 20 Pick 4 gameplays at a Shell gas station in Arlington. He chose the numbers 2-5-2-7 for the night drawing.
Fortunately, the Pick 4 winning combination that night was 2-5-2-7, which meant that Hirpo had earned $5,000 twenty times. The odds of a ticket matching the winning combination in order is one in 10,000.
Hirpo let lottery officials know that he doesn’t usually bet the same numbers on all of his Pick 4 tickets, yet that day, “something just told me” to do it. Each Pick 4 ticket Hirpo bought cost $1.
The Virginia Lottery helps fund K-12 public education within the commonwealth. During its fiscal year 2022, the Virginia Lottery raised more than $779 million for public education, which accounts for approximately 10% of Virginia’s total K-12 school budget.
Eleven states allow lottery winners to remain anonymous, including Virginia, though only for prizes of more than $10 million.
For winners below that amount, the lottery reserves the right to publicly announce the winner’s name. This is what happened when they shared Hirpo’s unique story of winning the Pick 4 game 20 times during one draw.
At $5,000 a ticket, Hirpo’s total payout was $100,000. This amount is before federal and state taxes.
Virginia taxes lottery winnings as individual income. The state charges an effective tax rate of 5.75% on lottery income, which would reduce Hirpo’s prize by $5,750.
The federal tax will be at least 22%, if the winner is married and filing a joint return and makes more than $89,450 but less than $190,750. This would reduce his lottery winnings by another $22,000 for a net win of roughly $72,250.
If Hirpo is single and/or filing as an individual, his lottery winnings could be hit with a 24% tax, as that’s the rate for single filers who make more than $95,375 but less than $182,100.
Depending on Hirpo’s other income, the final tax rate could be as high as 37%. To reach the IRS’ highest tax bracket, individual earners must make at least $578,125, or $693,750 as a married couple.
The Virginia Lottery’s newest scratch-off — “Livin’ Lucky with Luke Combs” — recently announced its first winner. Kevin Pullins, who works in Arlington and usually buys his lottery tickets on Monday, decided to try his luck with the new scratch-off sponsored by the country music star.
Pullins bought only one “Livin’ Lucky” scratcher. The ticket hit the game’s highest prize of $200,000.
The odds of winning $200,000 are one in 1,387,200. Two additional $200,000 winning “Livin’ Lucky” tickets remain up for grabs.