Lady Luck waived her wand just right Tuesday for more than 1,500 Virginia Lottery ticket holders who played 7-7-7-7.
The Virginia Lottery announced its largest payout ever for Pick 4 when the quadruple number was drawn in the afternoon game. The lottery will pay out $5.57 million to 1,503 ticket holders who matched the winning number.
"Our players won big today," said Virginia Lottery Executive Director Penelope W. Kyle. "We paid out more today on the Pick 4 game than we ever paid in 15 years."
Most of winners will receive $5,000 because they spent $1 to buy a ticket. Those who spent 50 cents will get $2,500, Kyle said.
Players spent $211,526 buying tickets for Tuesday afternoon's Pick 4. The lottery paid out more than 26 times the amount it took in for the game.
"If this happened all the time, the lottery would not be the big success that it is," Kyle said. "But it's all right if it happens occasionally."
Kyle said the difference between what was spent in the drawing and what was paid out will come from lottery coffers. Generally the lottery expects to pay out about 50 percent of what it takes in annually on the Pick 4 game.
Quadruple numbers are very popular among lottery players, but are rarely drawn, she added.
"To give you an idea of how unusual that is, in the 15 1/2 years that the Virginia Lottery has been up and running, we have drawn quadruples only eight times."
The largest previous payout was June 5, 2000, when the numbers 9-9-9-9 were drawn, paying out $3.79 million.
The Internal Revenue Service requires winners to claim prizes of more than $600 at a lottery office. There are offices in Hampton, Richmond, Woodbridge, Harrisonburg, Roanoke, Abingdon and Farmville.
"We're expecting a lot of folks to visit the Virginia Lottery Offices across Virginia," Kyle said.