Lottery winners aren’t the only ones with any luck: The Virginia Lottery saw record ticket sales in the past year, as the economy continued its recovery and several big-name retailers started selling tickets.
During the 2012 fiscal year, which ended June 30, the Virginia Lottery’s ticket sales totaled $1.6 billion. The lottery’s profits – after paying prizes, retailer compensation and administrative expenses – topped $487 million last year. Virginia Lottery players also had their share of luck, with more winners and more games offered. Ogden said he buys lottery tickets twice a week and usually plays high-dollar games such as Mega Millions, Powerball, Win for Life and Decades of Dollars.
He used to follow a strategy of playing the same numbers every time because he believed they would eventually be winners. Brian McCarthy of McLean was Virginia’s biggest prize winner of the year, netting a Mega Millions jackpot worth $107 million.
At the end of 2012, nearly 5,300 retailers were selling lottery tickets across the state – up 4 percent from the previous year. The Virginia Lottery recently added Wawa, which has more than 60 convenience stores across the state, to its list of retailers.
The Virginia Lottery has 70 representatives from across the state to recruit retailers to sell lottery tickets. Top retailers tend to be from Northern Virginia, the Richmond area and Hampton Roads, the most populous regions in the state.

But Tolf attributes the rise in lottery ticket sales chiefly to economic factors: “Honestly, I think it’s the economy. Among the state’s larger cities, sales jumped 17 percent in Fredericksburg, 12 percent in Arlington, 11 percent in Alexandria and Chesapeake, and 10 percent in Virginia Beach and Portsmouth. One day may not seem like it would make much of a difference, but Otto said the Virginia Lottery sells about $3 million in tickets, and earns $1.3 million in profits, each day.
Like the people who buy the tickets, the Virginia Lottery is banking on some luck as it looks to the future. Manassas wants to know what keeps you coming back to Downtown, and what more you want to see.
Potomac Local News is independent local news published daily, serving Prince William and Stafford counties in Virginia.
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In 2012, players collected more than $962 million in prizes, an increase of $81 million from the previous year.
Although Ogden hasn’t won millions of dollars, he believes that if you keep trying, you’ll eventually win something.
Paula Otto, the executive director of the Virginia Lottery, said ticket sales usually jump when the stakes get high. According to the Virginia Lottery, more than 28,000 Mega Millions tickets were sold every minute across the state on March 30 and profits totaled $21.8 million throughout the jackpot run.

Two people won the Decades of Dollars game, which means they will collect $250,000 a year for 30 years. They include more retailers, the economic recovery, Virginia’s population growth and the growing variety of games. Sales soared from about $10,400 to nearly $118,600 in the unincorporated community of Long Island, in Campbell County in southwest Virginia. She said 2012 will be hard to top because of the multiple jackpot winners and because it was a leap year, with an extra day of sales. Retailers also enjoy incentives and bonuses for selling tickets that win prizes of at least $20,000. News, traffic, weather, thoughtful insight, things to do where you live, and so much more – you'll find them all right here.
The runner-up, at $2.7 million, was the Handy Dandy Market in Woodbridge, also in Northern Virginia.

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