Skip to Content

What Lottery does Virginia have?

Virginia has a state-run lottery system called the Virginia Lottery. It offers a variety of scratcher games, draw games, and monitor games for players to participate in. The Virginia Lottery was established in 1987 through a public referendum and legislation passed by the Virginia General Assembly. It is overseen by the Virginia Lottery Board with the mission to generate revenue for K-12 public education in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Since its inception, the Virginia Lottery has raised over $11 billion for Virginia’s public schools.

Scratcher Games in Virginia

Scratcher games, also known as instant win games, are a popular lottery offering in Virginia. Players scratch off a coating on the ticket to reveal symbols or numbers that indicate if they have won a prize. Some examples of scratcher games available from the Virginia Lottery include:

  • Cashword – Scratch the play area to reveal letters. Spell words using the revealed letters to win prizes.
  • Monopoly Jackpot – Scratch the play area to reveal property symbols and GO symbols. Collect property sets and GO symbols to win prizes up to $30,000.
  • Mega Millions – Scratch the play area to reveal Mega Millions numbers. Match numbers to win prizes up to $1,000,000.
  • 20X the Money – Scratch the play area to reveal prize amounts. Find a “20X” symbol to multiply the prize shown by 20X.
  • Pearl Crossword – Scratch the play area to reveal letters. Spell words in crossword puzzle grids to win prizes.

New instant win scratcher games are introduced regularly in Virginia. Scratcher games range in price from $1 to $30 per ticket. Top scratcher prizes can reach $1 million or more depending on the game. Scratchers offer instant gratification and easy play for lottery participants.

Draw Games in Virginia

In addition to scratcher games, the Virginia Lottery offers several draw game options. Draw games involve players selecting a combination of numbers which are then entered into periodic drawings to determine if they match the winning numbers. Virginia draw game offerings include:

  • Pick 3 – Players choose 3 numbers between 0-9. Drawings are held twice daily. Ways to play include straight (match all 3 numbers in exact order), box (match all 3 numbers in any order), straight/box, and front pair/back pair.
  • Pick 4 – Players choose 4 numbers between 0-9. Drawings are held twice daily. Ways to play are the same as Pick 3 but with 4 numbers.
  • Cash 5 – Players choose 5 numbers between 1-42. Drawings are held daily. Match 2-5 numbers to win prizes up to $100,000.
  • Mega Millions – Players pick 5 numbers 1-70 and 1 Mega Ball number 1-25. Drawings are held Tuesdays and Fridays. Match all 5 numbers plus the Mega Ball to win a multi-million dollar jackpot.
  • Powerball – Players select 5 numbers 1-69 and 1 Powerball number 1-26. Drawings are held Wednesdays and Saturdays. Match all 5 numbers and the Powerball to win a jackpot starting at $40 million.

Tickets for Virginia draw games range from $1-2 per play depending on the game. Players can purchase tickets good for upcoming drawings at Virginia Lottery retail locations, online, or using the official Virginia Lottery app.

Monitor Games in Virginia

Monitor games, also known as terminal-generated games, are another category of Virginia Lottery offerings. These games involve purchasing tickets produced on computer terminals at Virginia Lottery retailers. Games are played and results are instantly displayed on the terminal screen. Examples of monitor games available in Virginia include:

  • Print N Play – Players choose numbers or symbols and instantly find out if they won prizes up to $500,000.
  • Keno – Players pick 1-10 numbers from 1-80. 20 numbers are drawn every 4 minutes with payouts for matching some or all numbers.
  • Xtra Chance – Add Xtra Chance to a Virginia Lottery ticket for another chance to win prizes up to $500,000.
  • Lucky Numbers – Pick from games like Bingo, Safecracker, and Match 3 to win instant prizes up to $3,000.

Monitor games allow for faster pace play compared to daily or bi-weekly draw games. Ticket prices range from $1-20 depending on the game type and method of play. Monitor games are readily available at the over 5,300 Virginia Lottery retailer locations statewide.

Where does Virginia Lottery revenue go?

As mandated by the Virginia Lottery law, all profits from Virginia Lottery games are directed to K-12 public education in the Commonwealth. In the 2021 fiscal year, lottery sales totaled $3.36 billion. Of that, more than $779 million was transferred to Virginia’s Literary Fund which distributes the money to school divisions across the state. This revenue represents a significant contribution to public education funding in Virginia.

Since its first year, the Virginia Lottery has been responsible for over $11 billion going to K-12 education. These funds have been used for much needed improvements and programming in Virginia schools. Lottery proceeds do not replace existing education funds. The additional revenue generated allows for investments that may otherwise not be possible. The Virginia Lottery provides a key mechanism for supporting public education in the Commonwealth.

Who can play the Virginia Lottery?

In order to play the lottery in Virginia, you must be at least 18 years of age. There are a couple options for purchasing Virginia Lottery tickets:

  • In-person at any Virginia Lottery retailer location – Find over 5,300 authorized retailers conveniently located statewide.
  • Online at – Sign up for a Virginia Lottery account to purchase tickets online. Must be a Virginia resident and 18+.
  • On the Virginia Lottery app – Download the app for iOS or Android to play on your mobile device. Must be geo-located within Virginia to play.

Playing online or through the app allows access to every Virginia Lottery game from the comfort of home. Tickets can also be purchased as gifts for others. In-person sales at retailers offer the ability to select tickets on the spot. Lottery gift cards are also available for purchase.

What are the odds of winning the Virginia Lottery?

The odds of winning prizes in Virginia Lottery games vary widely depending on the game type and method of play. Here are the approximate overall odds for some popular Virginia games:

Game Odds of Winning
Scratchers 1 in 4.35
Pick 3 (straight) 1 in 1,000
Pick 4 (straight) 1 in 10,000
Cash 5 (match 3) 1 in 8.4
Mega Millions 1 in 302 million
Powerball 1 in 292 million

As shown, scratcher games provide the best odds of winning a prize. The jackpot games have very long odds but offer much larger potential prizes. Strategic play based on understanding the probability can improve a players’ chances in select Virginia Lottery games.

What are some tips for winning the Virginia Lottery?

There is no guaranteed strategy for winning the lottery every time. However, Virginia Lottery players can employ some tips to potentially increase their odds:

  • Stick to a lottery budget – Only spend what you can reasonably afford to lose.
  • Manage expectation – Understand your odds of winning based on the game.
  • Try quick pick – Letting the computer randomly select numbers spreads out number combinations played.
  • Purchase multiple tickets – More tickets equals more chances to win.
  • Join or form a lottery pool – Combine money with others to buy more tickets.
  • Play less popular games – Games with lower participation tend to have better odds.
  • Scratch carefully – Take time to double check tickets for missed winners.
  • Claim winnings – Make sure to cash in winning tickets instead of misplacing them.

While there are no foolproof methods for winning the lottery, using some strategies can help participants increase entertainment value and potentially boost their success.

What are the biggest Virginia Lottery jackpots?

The Virginia Lottery has produced several notable jackpot winners over the years. Here are some of the biggest Virginia Lottery jackpots to date:

  • $336 million – Claimed by Hampton resident Debora Mae King for Mega Millions in 1996.
  • $239 million – Won by Erika Green of Hampton playing Mega Millions in 2010.
  • $183 million – Awarded to Warren and Danielle Witt of New Kent County playing MegaMillions in 2003.
  • $145 million – Claimed by anonymous winners in Hillsville for Mega Millions in 2013.
  • $141 million – Won by anonymous winner in Cumberland County playing Powerball in 2006.

In addition, there have been thousands of Virginia Lottery prizes in the $1 million range over the years. Top scratcher prizes have reached as high as $10 million. While the chances are slim, giant jackpot winnings demonstrate playing the Virginia Lottery can literally change lives in an instant!

Where can I find Virginia Lottery results?

Results for Virginia Lottery drawings and monitor games can be found in the following places:

  • Website – posts winning numbers immediately after drawings.
  • Mobile app – Get draw results delivered via push notifications or check winning numbers.
  • Retailers – Stop by Virginia Lottery stores to view latest results.
  • Newspapers – Many local papers print lottery results in their classifieds section.
  • Television – Virginia Lottery drawings are televised on 28 stations statewide.

Knowing results quickly allows players to see if they won. Official results are also needed when redeeming winning tickets. Keeping up with the latest Virginia Lottery results is easy through multiple available channels.

What do I do if I win the Virginia Lottery?

If you are lucky enough to win a major Virginia Lottery prize, here are some recommended steps:

  1. Sign the back of the winning ticket – Sign it immediately to establish ownership.
  2. Protect the ticket – Keep it very safe or in a safety deposit box.
  3. Seek expert advice – Talk to financial advisors, tax specialists, and lawyers.
  4. Claim the prize – Visit the nearest Virginia Lottery office for ticket validation and paperwork.
  5. Decide on payment method – Choose cash value lump sum or annuity payments over 30 years.
  6. Remain Anonymous – Virginia allows jackpot winners to request anonymity.
  7. Pay taxes – Remember to set aside for state and federal taxes on winnings.
  8. Don’t overspend – Make a budget and invest wisely instead of wasting winnings.

Following these steps can help ensure major lottery prizes are handled properly. Let the Virginia Lottery guide you through the claims process and connect with experts for advice.


Over 35 years since its creation, the Virginia Lottery continues to provide exceptional gaming options for residents across the Commonwealth. Players can enjoy everything from quick and easy scratchers to drawings for multimillion-dollar jackpots. Additionally, Virginia Lottery profits contribute vital funding for K-12 public education. Understanding game odds, jackpot history, result sources, and claims procedures allows everyone to get the most entertainment and potential rewards out of participating. With new games constantly introduced, the fun and possibilities of playing the Virginia Lottery are endless.