Posted on: April 7, 2023, 04:01h.
Last updated on: April 7, 2023, 04:01h.
A Virginia Lottery player must have seen the winning numbers coming, because he didn’t purchase just one Pick 4 ticket for the March 8 drawing but 20. And the man picked the same four numbers for each of the 20 tickets.
The Virginia Lottery’s Pick 4 is drawn twice a day at 1:59 pm and 11:00 pm EST. The game challenges players to pick a four-digit combination. To win the game’s top prize of $5,000, the player’s four numbers must be in the exact order in which the winning numbers are drawn.
For the Virginia Lottery’s Pick 4 drawing on March 8, Alexandria resident Fekru Hirpo purchased 20 gameplays at a Shell gas station in neighboring Arlington. Hirpo picked the numbers 2-5-2-7 for that day’s night drawing.
The Pick 4 winning combination that night was 2-5-2-7. That meant Hirpo had won $5,000 20 times. The odds of a ticket matching the winning combination in order is one in 10,000.
Hirpo told lottery officials that he doesn’t normally play the same numbers on all of his Pick 4 tickets, but on that day, “something just told me” to do it. Each Pick 4 ticket Hirpo purchased was $1.
The Virginia Lottery benefits K-12 public education in 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, with one being Virginia. But Virginia only affords such anonymity to winners who claim a prize in excess of $10 million.
For winners below that amount, the lottery reserves the right to disclose winners’ names. And state lottery officials did just that when they relayed publicly Hirpo’s most unusual story of winning the Pick 4 game 20 times during a single draw.
At $5,000 a piece, Hirpo’s gross payout came to $100,000. But that is of course before federal and state taxes.
Virginia taxes lottery winnings as individual income. The state levies an effective tax of 5.75% on lottery income, which would reduce Hirpo’s haul by $5,750.
The federal tax will be at least 22%, which is the tax bracket that applies to married individuals filing a joint return who make more than $89,450 but less than $190,750. That would reduce his lottery windfall 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 much as 37%. To reach the IRS’ top tax bracket, individual earners must make at minimum $578,125, or $693,750 as a married couple.
The Virginia Lottery’s newest scratch-off — “Livin’ Lucky with Luke Combs” — announced its first winner yesterday. DC resident Kevin Pullins, who works in Arlington and typically purchases his lottery tickets for the week on Monday, decided to try his luck at the new scratch-off marketed in partnership with the country music star.
Pullins bought just one “Livin’ Lucky” scratcher. The ticket hit the game’s top prize of $200,000.
The chances of winning $200,000 are just one in 1,387,200. Two additional $200,000 winning “Livin’ Lucky” tickets remain in circulation ready to make someone else’s day.
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