Record Virginia Lottery prizes, but millions went unclaimed

The Virginia Lottery set several records in the just-ended 2022 fiscal year, including highest-ever sales, prizes and profits.

It also reports more than $17.1 million in winning prizes went unclaimed in fiscal 2022.

By law, unclaimed prize money goes to the commonwealth’s Literary Fund, which provides low-interest loans for school construction, renovations and technology upgrades.

Virginia Secretary of education Aimee Rogstad Guidera (left) and Virginia Lottery Executive Director Kelly Gee (right) with a check for $779 million representing the lottery profits in fiscal 2022 — all of which goes to K-12 public school education. (Courtesy Virginia Lottery)

Virginia Lottery also did not disperse more than $6 million in prize money. It was collected from winners who owed unpaid child support or outstanding fines and debts, as part of Virginia’s Debt Set-Off Program.

Virginia Lottery players bet a record $3.75 billion, and the lottery paid out a record $2.67 billion in prizes.

The biggest prize for Virginia Lottery was $10 million won on a scratch-off ticket a Haymarket woman received from her husband for a Valentine’s gift. In all, 38 Virginia Lottery wins were at least $1 million.

Virginia collected a record $779.6 million in profits from the lottery in fiscal 2022, all of which goes to K-12 public school education. The lottery accounts for about 10% of Virginia’s total K-12 education budget.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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