A regular lottery player earned a tidy sum of money in last Saturday's Pick 4 drawing in the Virginia Lottery. Fekru Hirpo bought 20 Pick4 tickets instead of one as the other players do. Surprisingly, he selected the same four numbers in each ticket.
The Virginia Lottery awarded Hirpo $5,000 for each ticket he bought, hence winning $100,000 in total. It offers financial aid to the Commonwealth's K-12 public education.
Yet, the Virginia Lottery draws Pick 4 twice at 1:50 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. EST. It requires players to form a four-digit combination. The game has a $5,000 top prize and a player has to arrange their four numbers in the same order as the winning numbers that have been drawn.
Hirpo bought 20 gameplays on the March 8 Pick 4 drawing at a Shell gas station in Arlington. Then, he chose numbers 2-5-2-7 for that night's drawing.
The lottery's winning combination was 2-5-2-7. Thus, Hirpo won $5,000 from his 20 tickets. A ticket's odds of matching winning numbers is 1 in 10,000.
Hirpo informed the lottery officials that he occasionally plays similar numbers on Pick 4 tickets. Besides, something told him to try it on Saturday. He bought every Pick 4 ticket for $1.
The Virginia Lottery offered over $779 million in the 2022 fiscal year for public education. This is about 10 percent of the state's K-12 school budget.
More Details About Hirpo's Prize
Eleven U.S. states including Virginia allow lottery champions to conceal their identity. Even so, Virginia only provides that privilege to players who win more than $10 million.
The Virginia Lottery has the mandate to reveal a winner's names when they win less than $10 million. This is what its officials did when they disclosed Hirpo's interesting Pick 4 game-winning story in one draw.
He had a $100,000 gross payout each earning him $5,000 before state and federal taxes. The state classifies lottery winnings as individual income and imposes a 5.75 percent effective tax on lottery income which reduces Hirpo's payout by $5,750.
The federal tax is around 22 percent since this is the tax bracket that Virginia applies to married players who file joint returns and earn between $89,450 and $190,750. Thus, it will reduce the winner's payout to $72,250 because of the $22,000 federal tax.
Hirpo will pay a 24 percent lottery winnings tax if he files alone or is single. This is the tax rate for single filers earning between $95,375 and $182,099.
The final tax rate can increase to 37 percent if he has other income. Individual earners need to generate at least $578,125 and married couples need to earn $693,750 to be in the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) highest tax bracket.
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