Virginia ABC > Products > Limited Availability > Lottery > Lottery FAQs

How does the Virginia ABC lottery process work?
Virginia ABC offers customers the opportunity to purchase a bottle of a limited availability product through a random drawing. Lottery entries can be submitted online using a form available from the Virginia ABC website. At the close of the lottery period, a drawing of entries is held using random-number generating software. The entry form is available online for a period of at least 3 days unless otherwise noted. There is no advantage to entering the lottery as soon as it opens. Everyone who enters during the entry period has an equal chance of being selected. Odds depend on the number of entries received and the number of bottles available.

Who can participate in a lottery?

Lottery drawings for selected limited availability products will be open to customers who are Virginia residents and are 21 years of age or older. When purchasing and picking up winning bottles at a Virginia ABC store, winning customers must present valid identification that matches the information submitted on their entry form.

How do I participate?
Individual customers may enter a lottery for selected limited availability products through a lottery form made available on the Virginia ABC website during the announced entry period, which will typically be a 48-hour period. Ahead of the entry period, lotteries are announced on the website and through various channels. When the lottery is open, a link to the entry form will be provided on the lottery page. The entry form will collect an individual customer’s first and last name, valid Virginia address, email address, contact telephone number and chosen store for product shipment. There is no advantage to entering the lottery as soon as it opens. Everyone who enters during the entry period has an equal chance of being selected. Odds depend on the number of entries received and the number of bottles available.

How does Virginia ABC determine which products are offered via lottery?
Virginia ABC makes decisions about the distribution method employed for products on a case-by-case basis. Factors that will be considered in this decision include prior sales history of the product (if it’s a product that’s been sold previously), demand for the product and the number of bottles the manufacturer or supplier provided to Virginia ABC. Extremely rare and higher demand products are often distributed via lottery.

How does a multi-item lottery drawing work?
In cases where multiple items are offered through a single lottery form, individual customers may enter any or all of the available drawings on that particular lottery offering. Entrants must select each product for which they wish to enter to win the opportunity to purchase by clicking in that product’s checkbox. Customers who do not select any products/check any checkboxes will not be entered into any lottery drawings.

How will the drawings be conducted?
Virginia ABC will conduct the drawing for winners within seven days of the close of the lottery entry period. Customer contact information will be screened prior to drawings. Duplicate entries by a single customer or licensee will be deleted prior to the drawing. Virginia ABC’s Internal Audit Division will validate the results of each drawing. The odds of being selected and given the opportunity to purchase a bottle from one of Virginia ABC’s product lotteries depends on the number of entries received. The number of bottles available and the number of entries will change with each lottery.

How do I know if I'm selected?
Customers whose entry is selected during the random drawing process will be notified via email that their entry was selected and that the product is being shipped to the store they chose on their entry form. Once their bottle arrives at their selected store—which will take between 14 and 21 days—store staff will contact the customer using the phone number and email address they provided on their entry form.

How will I know if I don't get selected?
Email notifications will also be sent to customers who did not win an opportunity to purchase a given product.

Why haven't I been notified whether or not my entry won?
If you have not received a winner or non-winner notification by the date indicated after each lottery, one of two things has likely happened:

  • Your email service provider sent our emails to your spam folder. Be sure to whitelist the email address marketing@virginiaabc.com with your email service provider to ensure you receive winner and non-winner email notifications going forward.
  • Your entry contained duplicate information with another entry. If this was the case, your entry would have been removed during our de-duplication process; therefore, it would not have been entered into any lotteries and you would not have received any winner or non-winner notifications.

What happens to unclaimed bottles?
Bottles that remain unclaimed at the store after a period of fourteen days from the time the winner was notified of shipment to the store, will be retained in the store’s stockroom until their next authorized in store limited availability event. If a customer is found to be ineligible to purchase a lottery product, that product will be retained in the store’s stockroom until their next authorized in store limited availability event. In both cases, these bottles will be sold on a first-come, first-serve basis with no customer holds allowed. Virginia ABC employees will not be eligible to purchase unclaimed bottles.

I've been granted the opportunity to purchase a bottle. How do I get it?
Your bottle will be shipped to the store you selected on your entry form within 14 to 21 days. Once it arrives at the store, store staff will contact you via the phone number and/or email address you provided on your entry form. Once your store has contacted you, you may pick up your bottle. You will need to present a valid form of photo identification displaying the same name and valid Virginia address you entered on your entry form. Entrants may not pick up bottles for other customers. Bottles will not be released to customers who do not display valid identification. Customers will be required to pay the full purchase price of the bottle, plus applicable taxes. 

If I win the opportunity to purchase a lottery product but don’t want it, can I sell my bottle to someone else?
No. Unlicensed persons or entities are prohibited from selling alcohol in Virginia regardless of price. Trying to sell spirits purchased from Virginia ABC to another party could result in a Class 1 misdemeanor charge.

Can I purchase lottery products through ABC’s special-order process?
No. Lottery products are only available via the lottery process and are not available for order through the Virginia ABC special order process.

How can I stay informed about future lottery product offerings?
There are several ways by which Virginia ABC will notify customers of upcoming lottery product offerings:

Additional questions?
View our FAQs for products in general.

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