HomeVirginia Lottery

Initially introduced to residents of the Old Dominion State in 1988, the Virginia Lottery was designed to provide state funding for the public education system from K-12 to universities. Since then, the scope of the Virginia Lottery has evolved, taking online gambling in Virginia under its wing, allowing players from all over the state to participate in online sports betting and more.

With nearly $800 million contributed to the state’s education system in 2023 alone, the Virginia Lottery continues to be a primary source of income for the state, and is showing no signs of slowing down now. Let’s dive into everything you need to know about the Virginia Lottery in this exclusive VABetting.com feature.

About the Virginia Lottery

Created in 1987 as voted by Virginia voters in favor of a state lottery, the Virginia Lottery was set up to be an independent agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia. With its first ticket sold to the public on September 20, 1988, it was established from the outset that all profits would go towards funding the state’s education system, from K-12 all the way through to state-funded universities.

Located at 600 E. Main Street in Richmond, VA the current head administrator is Tony R. Russell, who is appointed by the governor and responsible, via Virginia’s state constitution, that all funds are administered appropriately. The VA Lottery is governed by a seven-member board, with each of those members appointed by the governor as well to serve a five-year term.

In Fiscal Year 2023 alone, state funding (their profits) via the Virginia Lottery came in at $867 million, making up for about 10% of all school funding in the state. While that is the profit made, total sales in 2023 eclipsed $4.6 billion, with $3.41 billion going back to the players and more than $130 million earned by retail sellers as commission. Since the year after the inception of the lottery, 1989, the Virginia Lottery has now provided the VA school system with more than $15.5 billion in funding.

While the Virginia Lottery and its offerings have evolved over the years, there are now daily draw games including the Pick 3, Pick 4, and Pick 5, as well as the Cash 5 and various scratch-off tickets. It is also a part of national lottery games including the Mega Millions, PowerBall, and others. With customer service centers spread throughout the state including Abingdon, Farmville, Hampton, Harrisonburg, Henrico, Roanoke, and Woodbridge, residents don’t have to go far to find one.

Can you play the Virginia Lottery online?

Yes, you can play the Virginia Lottery online today. The VA Lottery has a plethora of games you can play via their website or mobile app, including draw games such as Powerball, Mega Millions, and Cash4Life.

For fans of instant win games, such as scratch-off tickets, there are also electronic versions of them players can buy via the VA Lottery website and mobile app. The Virginia Lottery’s online offerings also include the ability to scan tickets to check for winners, manage their accounts, and keep track of the ongoing draws that happen throughout the week and month.

How to claim Virginia Lottery winnings

If you are a Virginia Lottery winner, you have a few options for claiming winnings, all depending on how much you’ve won. Let’s take a look at three different scenarios and how you can claim your Virginia Lottery winnings today.

  1. Identify Amount You’ve Won: If your Virginia Lottery winnings are less than $600, you can claim your winnings at any VA Lottery retailer, such as the place you bought your ticket. You can also claim your winnings via the mobile app, or by signing your ticket and mailing it along with a completed claim form to the Virginia Lottery office.
  2. Prep Required Documents: If your Virginia Lottery winnings are over $600, you’ll need to scan a copy of your driver's license or passport, as well as your social security card, and mail the copies along with your signed original ticket to the VA Lottery office. Also, don’t forget to include a completed claim form which you can find on the Virginia Lottery’s website.
  3. Determine Claim Method: While you can always mail in your ticket as described above, you can also claim your winnings in person at any Virginia Lottery Customer Service Center. Make sure you have the documentation described in step #2, and visit one of the field offices in Abingdon, Farmville, Hampton, Harrisonburg, Henrico, Roanoke, and Woodbridge, VA.

Can I claim VA Lottery winnings online?

Yes, unlike some states which have limited options in terms of their only lottery offerings, you can claim VA Lottery winnings directly online using their website or mobile app, for winnings less than $600. Once your ticket is scanned or your online ticket is confirmed, the winnings will be directly deposited into your online player’s account. 

From here, you can either keep the winnings in your account to buy more lottery tickets, or you can withdraw your winnings to your bank account. For winners of more than $600, you will be emailed instructions on how to claim your winnings which will include filling out a claim form as described above. From there, you can either mail it in or take it to an in-person Virginia Lottery Customer Services Office, which is located throughout the state.

History of the Virginia Lottery

The origins of the Virginia Lottery can be traced all the way back to 1612, as “The Great Virginia Lottery” was set up to help raise money for the at the time ailing Jamestown Settlement. Raising £29,000 for the “Virginia Company”, the funds were raised and a lottery was held in England, as Virginia was still just woodlands.

The Virginia Lottery as we know it today, the first run by the actual state government in the state, wasn’t set up until 1987. Voters in Virginia at the time passed the referendum in the 1987 election, with lottery sales officially beginning on September 20, 1988. Initially, after the first full year of collecting funds, the Virginia General Assembly directed Lottery profit to capital construction in 1989. From 1990 to 1998, funds were directed to Virginia’s General Fund, which was then used on a variety of projects and initiatives the state was involved with.

Beginning in 1999, however, a provision was put forth to Virginia voters that all proceeds from the Virginia Lottery be directly sent to the state’s public education efforts. Passing by a large margin, the State Lottery Proceeds Fund was established in November 2000, becoming a permanent part of Virginia’s constitution in the process that all VA Lottery proceeds are spent on education.

Another part of the law was that all unclaimed prizes go directly to the Virginia Literary Fund, which as of 2023, has amassed $350 million in unclaimed prizes. 

Cross-state lottery draw games you can play in Virginia

As part of the Virginia Lottery offerings, customers can play in lotteries that are in Virginia only, as well as a few held nationwide. Let’s take a look at a few of the cross-state lottery draw games you can play in Virginia today.

  • Cash4Life: Currently offered in 10 states with VA being one of them, each ticket costs $2 and players pick five numbers from 60 possible options, in addition to one “Cash Ball” from 1 through 4. If you match all numbers you can choose between $365,000 per year for life, or a lump sum of $7,000,000.
  • Mega Millions: Originally known as “The Big Game” when it launched in 1996, Virginia was one of the six initial states to offer Mega Millions and still does today, along with the rest of the country. Each time the jackpot resets, it begins at $20 million and grows every drawing there is no winner. With drawings on Tuesdays and Fridays, tickets are $2 and players choose five numbers, one through 70, plus a Mega Ball number of one through 25. Customers also have the option to add a Megaplier for $1 on each ticket, which raises the value of any non-jackpot ticket.
  • Powerball: The most popular cross-state lottery game in the country, the Powerball costs $2 per ticket and has produced some of the biggest jackpots in the history of the lottery. To play, each player chooses five numbers from one through 69, as well as a Powerball number from one through 26. Drawings are held on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays, and players can add a Power Play option for $1 on each ticket to increase any non-jackpot winnings.

Virginia-specific draw fun you can play

Like the cross-state lottery, Virginia-specific draw games from the Virginia Lottery give winners of their top prizes the choice of cash up front or an annuity.

  • Pick 3, Pick 4, and Pick 5: All three are drawn twice daily at 2 PM and 11 PM, the tickets cost $1 each and range from $500, $5,000, and $50,000 in jackpot prize payouts. As the names imply, each requires the player to pick 3, 4, and 5 numbers ranging from 0 to 10.
  • Cash 5 with EZ Match: With the ticket cost being a minimum of $1, the Cash 5 with EZ Match is a draw game that requires players to pick five numbers ranging from 1 to 45. Drawings are held every day at 11 PM, and the order of the numbers does not matter in determining a winner.
  • Bank a Million: With a jackpot top prize of $1 million after taxes, drawings are held every week on Wednesdays and Sundays. Players choose six numbers, ranging from 0 to 40, plus a bonus ball, with the minimum ticket prize being $2.
  • Virginia’s New Year’s Millionaire Raffle: Held each year in VA on New Year’s Day, the drawing features five $1 million top prizes, seven $100,000 prizes, and 1,000 $500 prizes. In 2023, a total of 625,00 tickets were up for sale, making players' chances much higher than the typical draw games Virginia offers throughout the year.

Instant win lottery games in VA

Instant win lottery games in VA, also known as “scratchers” have been available for purchase since the Virginia Lottery’s inception in 1987. Ranging from $1 to $50 to purchase, scratchers require players to scratch off numbers (or a barcode that can be scanned on the mobile app) to determine if they’re a winner and how much they’ve won. Let’s take a closer look at the three most popular instant win lottery games in VA today.

  • 100X The Money: With a ticket cost of $30, the 100x The Money scratcher has the overall best odds of winning any instant game in VA. According to the national lottery site LottoEdge.com, the odds of winning are 1 in 2.82.
  • $10,000 A Month: With a ticket cost of $20, the $10,000 a month scratch-off has a top prize of $10,000 a month, before taxes. According to LottoEdge.com, the odds of winning with this scratcher are 2.95 to 1.
  • 50X The Money: Also with a ticket cost of $20, this game plays similar to 100X The Money, with a top prize of roughly half. According to LottoEdge.com. 50X The Money has the third-best odds of any VA scratcher at 3.03 to 1.

Where do I purchase lottery tickets in VA?

With dozens of ways to get in on the action with the Virginia Lottery, it all starts with buying a ticket. Let’s dive into three different ways you can purchase a lottery ticket in VA today.

  • Retailer Location: Ranging from convenience stores to grocery stores, to gas stations, there are more than 5,000 retailers throughout Virginia where you can purchase a lottery ticket from. In most, there are both terminals, as well as clerks you can purchase the actual ticket from.
  • Online: Located at www.valottery.com you can purchase all of the aforementioned VA lottery tickets directly online. Once you register for an account, you can deposit funds and purchase a lottery ticket online today.
  • Mobile App: The most convenient way to purchase a VA lottery ticket is undoubtedly via the VA Lottery mobile app. Available for both Android and Apple devices, the mobile app is intuitive to use, and you can purchase lottery tickets nearly instantly once your account has been set up.

Famous VA Jackpot winners

With a history dating back more than three decades, there have been some famous VA jackpot winners over the years. Let’s take a closer look at the three most famous jackpot winners in the history of the Virginia Lottery.

  • February 20, 2004: The biggest win in the history of the VA Lottery was in February 2004, when a retired truck driver named JR Triplett of Winchester, VA won the Mega Millions jackpot, worth $239 million.
  • October 16, 2009: Purchased by Steve Williams of Shenandoah, VA, a Mega Millions ticket earned him $200 million. He chose to take the cash option, which paid out Williams $125 million before taxes.
  • July 1, 2011: Brian McCarthy of McLean, VA won the Mega Millions in July of 2021, walking away with a jackpot of $107 million, with a ticket purchased from the grocery store Giant. He also took the cash option, which after taxes netted him $68.4 million.

Is there a Virginia Lottery mobile app?

Yes, there is a Virginia Lottery mobile app, which can be used to purchase a multitude of tickets, as well as other great features. Customers can buy both VA-specific and cross-state lottery tickets with the Virginia Lottery mobile app, as well as check existing physical tickets to see if they are winners.

Additionally, VA Lottery mobile app users can manage their accounts, check past drawing numbers, purchase digital instant win lottery tickets, and more. It’s worth noting that not all states with lotteries allow their customers such convenience, and if you are a player of the VA Lottery, the mobile app is a must-download.

The Virginia Lottery mobile app can be downloaded on both Android and iOS devices today.


Do I have to pay taxes if I win the VA lottery?

Yes, you have to pay taxes if you win the VA Lottery, both at the state and federal levels. Federal taxes range from 10% to 37% based on your income, and state income taxes can range from 2% to 5.75% based on your income. It is always worth checking with a tax professional to determine your specific scenario when it comes to taxes.

Can I play the Virginia Lottery if I’m 18?

Yes, you can play the Virginia Lottery if you are 18 years old. This age minimum applies to both VA Lottery draw games, online games, and scratcher tickets.

What is the annual revenue from the Virginia Lottery?

The annual revenue from the Virginia Lottery in 2023 was reported as $4.6 billion, a record for the commission. In terms of profit, there was also a record broke in 2023 of $867 million, a nearly 10% increase from the previous year.

How often can I play the lottery?

You can play the lottery as much as you like, up to multiple times a day. No matter how often you play, it’s critical to remember to gamble responsibly at all times.

What should I do if I win a large Virginia Lottery prize?

If you win a large Virginia Lottery prize, the first thing you should do is contact the VA Lottery office to discuss the next steps.

Can I remain anonymous if I win the Virginia Lottery?

Yes, unlike some states such as California, lottery winners of more than $10 million have the option to remain anonymous. For prize payouts of under $10 million, the winner’s information, however, is considered public record. This information includes their name, city of residence, and the amount the recipient won.

Are there any responsible gaming resources provided by the Virginia Lottery?

Yes, there are many resources available for responsible gaming by the Virginia Lottery, as it is part of their duty to promote gambling responsibly. These include educational information, gambling counseling, and Virginia Problem Gambling Helpline which is available 24/7.