Virginia ABC reports 'statistically abnormal' results of recent bourbon lottery

Virginia ABC.jpg
Posted at 11:38 AM, May 19, 2023

NORFOLK, Va. — The Virginia ABC reports a recent lottery drawing for bourbon resulted in "a statistically abnormal" outcome.

Two entrants won all four of the products in the lottery, ABC said.

The ABC uses a lottery system to allocate sought-after bourbons. A person has to individually enter for each bottle they are interested in purchasing.

Last week, the ABC announced the results of the lottery for Buffalo Trace Antique Collection bottles.

Each bottle had more than 35,000 entries with two people winning all four of the bottles, 50 winning all three, and 229 winning two products.

There was a .00000012% chance of someone winning all four.

In an earlier statement, ABC said they used their normal process for conducting the lottery and said a member of the ABC's internal audit division witnessed the drawing.

Late in afternoon Friday, ABC said there's no evidence anyone did anything wrong, but they said they identified an issue with the sorting of data in their software that led to the results.

They said there will be additional layers of review in the future and said a new lottery system is in the testing phase.

ABC is honoring the results of the drawing.

According to ABC, 37,485 people entered to win 770 George T. Stagg Bourbon bottles, giving each entrant a 1 in 48.68 chance of winning.

For Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye, there were 35,828 entries for 286 bottles, giving a person a 1 in 125.27 chance of winning.

For William Larue Weller Bourbon, there were 37,416 entries for 209 entries, giving people a 1 in 179.02 chance in winning.

For Sazerac Rye 18 year old, there were 35,492 entries for 48 bottles, giving people a 1 in 739.41 chance in winning.

Last year,Virginia ABC also began randomly distributing sought-after bourbons.

Bourbon continues to grow in popularity nationwide and in Virginia.

"It continues to grow and it has for the last at least ten years," said Tom Fischer, writer on

He says the buzz about bourbon has only added to the competition to find rare bottles.

"It's a contributed in a big way to the boom and its excitement. We'd obviously rather there be this extreme enthusiasm than to have no interest," Fischer said.