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# 'Just Play!': Man Bought Over 200 Lottery Tickets and They Were All Winners

A man acted on his gut feeling and, after purchasing 264 lottery tickets, won \$132,000 from two separate drawings in the span of fewer than two months.

Officials with the Virginia Lottery recently reported that Jalen Taylor, a Charlottesville resident, used the same three-digit combination on 104 tickets in a single Pick 3 drawing in November. He won the top \$500 prize on all of his tickets, which meant he received a total of \$52,000.

He used the same strategy on a second drawing in January, this time using a different three-digit combination on the 160 tickets he bought. He won the top \$500 prize on all of his tickets again, bringing in \$80,000 total in winnings.

Taylor is one of many who purchased lottery tickets that contributed to nearly \$3.26 billion in sales in Virginia in the fiscal year 2021. These proceeds are divvied up and go toward a few different parties.

The Pick 3 lottery game requires a player to pick a three-digit number from 000 to 999 on a play slip. There are a few different ways players can play the game, which results in different prizes.

For example, players can choose to try to get all three digits in the same order as the number drawn. That can result in winning the top prize. Or, they can choose to try to match all three digits drawn, but the order would not matter.

According to officials, the chances of winning the top \$500 prize on a ticket is one in 1,000.

"I had a feeling," Taylor told lottery officials. "When you get a feeling, just play!"

In the release, Taylor said he plans to invest and save the money he won.

Officials with the Virginia Lottery said that of the nearly \$3.26 billion generated by sales, more than \$766 million went toward public education for kindergarten through 12th grade. More than \$2.2 billion went back to players in prizes, \$139 million went to retailers who sell Virginia lottery tickets and \$147 million went to cover operational expenses.

"Since 1999, all Virginia Lottery profits have been used for K-12 public education in Virginia," officials said.

Before the money went to public education, proceeds were first used on capital improvement projects in 1989. The proceeds were transferred to the state's general fund, but a state budget amendment established that lottery proceeds were used specifically for educational purposes.

The State Lottery Proceeds Fund was created in 2000, which was voted on by Virginia voters. More than 80 percent of voters were in favor of the fund.

Newsweek reached out to officials with the Virginia Lottery for comment.

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