Virginia Powerball Rules
You can play Powerball in Virginia as long as you are at least 18 years of age. You can subscribe online or just fill out a playslip, either choosing your own numbers or asking for an Easy Pick. If you go for an Easy Pick, a random set of numbers will be chosen for you. Ticket sales close one hour before the drawings on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.
As well as being able to play in up to 39 consecutive draws, you can also plan ahead for a special date by selecting the OPTIONAL PLAYS box on your playslip and entering one ‘Future’ draw. Just let the store clerk know which date you want to play. Another option is to select ‘Repeat’ on your playslip if you want to have the same numbers printed on up to 20 separate tickets.
If you win a prize of over $5,000, it will be subject to a state tax of 4 percent in addition to the federal tax of 24 percent.
You can watch Powerball drawings on the following television stations in Virginia:
City Station Channel Hampton Roads WVEC-TV 13 Harrisonburg WHSV-TV 3 Northern Virginia WFDC-TV or WUSA-TV 14 or 9 Roanok WDBJ-TV 7 Richmond WRIC-TV 8
If you win a prize in Virginia, you will need to come forward and claim it within 180 days of the draw taking place. You should be able to collect any prize up to $600 from any licensed retailer, although some stores will not keep large amounts of cash on their premises for security reasons so you may be given a check or money order.
For prizes of $600 or more, you will need to visit one of the state’s customer service centers or mail your ticket to the Virginia Lottery headquarters. You will need to fill out a claim form and provide identification for any prize of above $600. Acceptable forms of ID include a driver’s license, a passport, a state- or government-issued photo ID card, or a craft or trade license. You must also provide proof of your social security number. The lottery’s headquarters is located at the following address:
Virginia Lottery HQ 600 E. Main Street Richmond, VA 23219 (804)692-7000 (804)692-7102 (fax)
Postal claims should be mailed to:
Virginia Lottery Claims, P. O. Box 1254, Richmond, VA, 23218-1254
The addresses for the Virginia Lottery’s claim centers are as follows:
Location Address Telephone Number Prize Zone West 1620 E. Parham Rd. Richmond, VA 23228 (804)692-7950 Shenandoah Valley 1790-26 E. Market Street Harrisonburg, VA 22801 (540)433-7979 Hampton Roads 2306-2308 W. Mercury Blvd. Hampton, VA 23666 (757)825-7800 Central Virginia Longwood Village Shopping Cntr. 1506 S. Main Street Farmville, VA 23901 (434)392-7294 Roanoke Valley 1287 Towne Square Blvd. Roanoke, VA 24012 (540)561-7011 Southwest Virginia 408 E. Main Street Abingdon, VA 24210 (276)676-5540 Northern Virginia 14550 Potomac Mills Rd. Woodbridge, VA 22192 (703)494-1501
A Powerball ticket is a bearer instrument, so if you lose it and have not signed it there is no chance that you will be able to claim any prizes you might have won. If your ticket has been damaged, it is unlikely to be eligible for any prize unless it still meets certain conditions. The ticket must still be intact and cannot be unreadable, counterfeit, defective, torn, stolen, defaced, altered, reconstituted, tampered with or previously paid. The ticket data must correspond exactly with the lottery’s computer records.
You can only remain anonymous in Virginia if you claim a Powerball prize that is larger than $10 million; no personal information will be allowed to be disclosed by the Virginia Lottery, though they may still release the amount won, and the retailer from which the winning ticket was bought. If you win up to $10 million, you will still have to go public; your name and hometown will be revealed and a news release will be posted with your photo. While the Virginia Freedom of Information Act requires your identity to be made public for any win up to $10 million, your home address, phone number and Social Security number will not be released.
The majority of the money raised from Powerball ticket sales is returned to players in the form of prizes. Around a fifth also goes towards public education from kindergarten right through to 12th grade. You can see a full breakdown of where the Virginia Lottery’s revenues go in the table below:
Area of Spending Percentage of Revenue Prizes 71.3% Public Education 20.9% Operating Expenses 4.2% Retailer Compensation 3.6%
The lottery has generated hundreds of millions of dollars for schools every year since its inception in 1989. To date, more than $11 billion has been allocated to public education, and funded programs have included Career and Technical Education, the Virginia Preschool Initiative, Early Reading Intervention, Special Education and School Breakfast Program.
Dave Honeywell became Virginia’s first Powerball jackpot winner on February 6, 2013 when he banked $217 million. A computer scientist with the Department of Defense, the Fredericksburg resident purchased his ticket on Superbowl Sunday as he was flying out of Richmond International Airport on a business trip.
He did not discover his good fortune until after he had returned a couple of days later, and his wife admitted that she ‘thought he might be having a heart attack’ when he phoned to give her the news. They announced that they had no immediate plans to quit their jobs, but he did say that he would be happy to replace his 13-year-old car that had 170,000 miles on the clock.