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About Virginia Lottery

The Virginia Lottery got its start in 1987, when voters approved the creation of a state lottery, and the first VA Lottery tickets were sold in 1988. All profits from the VA lottery, as of 1999, go to the state's K-12 public school system. Those profits have totaled more than $11 billion between 1988 and 2017. In the year 2017 alone, the public school system received well over half a billion dollars from Lottery profits, accounting for 9 percent of public school funding in the state.

How the Virginia Lottery Works?

Playing VA Lotto means picking from a long list of games for your chance to win big. Some are state-only and others that are multi-state games. Since the multi-state games are among the most popular in the state, so we'll detail just how those work.

The Virginia Mega Millions Lottery is one of those popular multi-state games. Hitting the winning numbers in this game is the dream of lots of the state's lotto players, since the top prize amount starts at $40 million and often rises a lot higher. To play this game, you'll need to choose 5 regular numbers from 1 through 70, and a single Mega Ball number from one through 25. If you prefer, you can use the Easy Pick option to let the computer pick your numbers for you or pick some of your own numbers and let the computer choose the rest. Once your numbers are picked, you pay for your lottery ticket and are officially entered in the lottery.

For an extra fee, you can use the Megaplier option to multiply the payout of winning tickets by up to 5 times. Then, all that is left to do is to wait for the drawing to happen, every Tuesday and Friday at 11:00 p.m. Then, compare your numbers to the lottery results to see if you have scored the jackpot or a smaller prize. Just keep in mind that if you're buying tickets on draw nights, ticket sales stop at 10:45 p.m. on those nights.

The other big multi-state lottery in Virginia is Powerball. Since this too, is a minimum $40 million lottery for jackpot winners, it is also very popular among Virginia lotto players. To enter Virginia Powerball, you pick 5 numbers from 1 through 69, along with one Powerball number from 1 to 26. If you like, you can use Easy Pick to randomly generate some or all your numbers. This game also has an add-on feature, called Power Play, that can multiply the payout on winning tickets by as much as 10 times for an extra fee when you buy your lotto tickets. Drawings are held, and lottery results announced every Wednesday and Saturday at 11:00 p.m. Ticket sales stop at 10:00 p.m. on draw nights, so be sure to get yours well before the deadline on those nights.

Details and rules for all other games that are available in the state can be found on the Virginia Lottery website, including their many state-only lotteries.

What is Virginia Lottery tax?

Virginia Lottery officials are required to report winnings of more than $600 to state and federal tax agencies. If you win a prize of more than $5,000, the agency is required to withhold a certain amount of your winnings for those tax agencies. According to the Virginia Lottery website, 24 percent is automatically withheld for federal taxes, and 4 percent for state taxes. If you win a large prize, Lottery officials recommend seeing a tax professional to manage your newly acquired winnings and the accompanying, tax liability.

Can you Remain Anonymous if you Win the Lottery in Virginia?

While Lottery winners in some states can stay out of the spotlight by claiming their prizes anonymously, Virginia is not one of them. If you hit it big in Virginia, your name, hometown, prize amount, the date you won and where you bought your ticket are all details that are considered public record and cannot be kept secret. Additionally, some winners who are awarded a very large prize or an unusual one will have their picture taken when they claim their winnings, which may be used on the Virginia Lottery website, social media pages and news releases.

Chances are that if you're the next big Virginia Lotto jackpot winner, you'll be gaining both fame and fortune. However, some details will be kept private. Lottery officials will not release your home address, phone number or Social Security number to the public.

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