About the West Virginia Lottery
Whenever people speak of West Virginia lottery, there's usually one name that's mentioned - Jack Whittaker. Whittaker, a businessman from Hurricane had a very happy Christmas after winning the lottery jackpot on December 25, 2002. The jackpot came from West Virginia Powerball and amounted to an incredible $314.9 million. This win was not only the biggest in the state, but also one of the largest Powerball wins ever.
Whittaker, a businessman who was already worth $17 million, bought his ticket at C&L Super Serve in Hurricane and chose to take the cash payout option to receive a grand total of $170.5 million. Whittaker donated 10% of his winnings to charity, as well as treating the woman who sold him the ticket to a $123,000 house, a new truck and $50,000 cash!
But this hasn't been the only big West Virginia win, as the Mountain State has had its fair share of jackpots. In fact, in the first few years of the West Virginia lottery, players were treated to many large jackpots. To begin with, from 1986 to 1988 there were 13 WV Lottery Grand Prize jackpots totalling almost $18 million and 15 WV Lotto 6/36 jackpots of more than $13 million.
In addition to this, Powerball's predecessor Lotto America handed out four huge jackpots in 18 months. This began on July 18, 1989 when David Carter from Martinsburg won a shared jackpot of $2 million. This was soon followed by wins of $5.6 million and $17.52 million and $3.9 million, the last of these coming on November 21, 1990 and going to Arnel Collins from Morgantown.
All of these jackpots occurred within a few years of WV lottery tickets first going on sale, way back in 1986. Lotto 6/36, Daily 3 and Daily 4 soon followed and the latter two of these remain today along with Cash 25. However, it's the selection of multi-state lotteries that grabs the headlines in West Virginia.
West Virginia offers Mega Millions, Hot Lotto and, of course, Powerball. These lotteries regularly offer huge jackpots with many millions being given won by lucky West Virginia lottery players. West Virginia Powerball, or Lotto America as it was previously named, was first offered in 1988. It wasn't until 22 years later that West Virginia Mega Millions was made available, on January 31, 2010.
Not content with just lottery games, WV Lottery has experimented with a number of different gambling options. In 1994, West Virginia lottery installed slot machine style video lottery terminals at racetracks, while ‘gray machines' offered video poker in bars and convenience stores, which were consequently outlawed in 2001. The WV Lottery Commission has also been in charge of the table games offered at Wheeling Island Hotel Casino Racetrack and Mountaineer Casino.