West Virginia Lottery
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (January 2013)|
The West Virginia Lottery is run by the government of West Virginia. It is a charter member of the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL). The Lottery offers games such as Hot Lotto, Powerball, Mega Millions, and scratch tickets. West Virginia has reinterpreted the amendment to its Constitution that permitted its lottery to include casinos, and thus the West Virginia Lottery Commission also regulates slot machines, which are marketed as "video lottery" and available at several hundred businesses; and five "lottery table games" casinos.
Jack Whittaker, arguably the most notable American lottery winner, won his then-record Powerball jackpot of about $315 million (annuity value) on a ticket bought in West Virginia for the December 25, 2002 drawing.
The minimum age to buy West Virginia Lottery tickets is 18, while casinos and slot machine parlors require patrons to be at least 21. The lottery has the lowest payoff of any state lottery system in the country, returning on average a 15% share to winners.
Daily 3 is drawn Mondays through Saturdays. It draws three sets of balls numbered 0 through 9. Prices, prizes, and options vary.
Daily 4 is similar to Daily 3; except four ball sets are used.
Cash 25 is drawn Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. It draws six numbers from 1 through 25. The top prize is $25,000; games cost $1.
Hot Lotto (16 jurisdictions)
Hot Lotto is played in 15 states and the District of Columbia. It is drawn Wednesdays and Saturdays. Hot Lotto, the only game played in West Virginia where numbers are drawn by a random number generator (other than its keno and video slot machines), draws five "white numbers" from 1 through 47, and the orange "Hot Ball", numbered 1 through 19. The jackpot starts at $1,000,000 (all-cash, and "taxes paid"), increasing by at least $50,000 if there is no top prize winner. Hot Lotto also has an option, called Sizzler (similar to the original version of Powerball's PowerPlay); it triples non-jackpot prizes.
Hot Lotto began in April 2002 with six lotteries, including West Virginia's. Jackpots initially were paid in 25 yearly installments unless the cash option was chosen. There were 39 "white ball" numbers. The addition of the Sizzler option was Hot Lotto's only change until the May 12, 2013 game overhaul. Advertised jackpots reflect the amount paid, in cash, to one winner after withholdings rather than the traditional American practice of "before withholdings." When the format change took place, the Tennessee Lottery became the game's newest member.
Powerball (multi-lottery game)
Since 1988, West Virginia has been a member of MUSL; Powerball began in 1992. Powerball's jackpots begin at $20 million; it is drawn Wednesday and Saturday nights.
Mega Millions (multi-lottery game)
On October 13, 2009 the Mega Millions consortium and MUSL reached an agreement to cross-sell Mega Millions and Powerball in US lottery jurisdictions. West Virginia joined Mega Millions on January 31, 2010; the first Mega Millions drawing involving West Virginia was two days later.
West Virginia, along with Delaware and Rhode Island, offered the video lottery game Ca$hola from 2006 to May 2011. Ca$hola produced 37 progressive jackpot winners. That game was replaced with MegaHits, which is offered in the same lottery-run casinos as Ca$hola, including West Virginia's four venues. MegaHits will feature a top progressive of $100,000; unlike Ca$hola, there will be five progressives (except for the top jackpot, MegaHits' progressives will be funded within each of the three jurisdictions.)
- Tripoli, Steve. "Lotteries Take In Billions, Often Attract The Poor". National Public Radio. Retrieved 16 July 2014.