An error in data entry left some Virginia whiskey enthusiasts feeling cheated after a lopsided lottery.
A recent bourbon lottery run by the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) allowed winning entrants the opportunity to purchase rare whiskey bottles, according to local news network Fox 5. An internal review by the Virginia ABC found that this lottery provided “statistically abnormal results” that allowed entrants to purchase multiple bottles, as the ABC says in a May 19 statement.
Out of a total of 146,221 entries, only 978 participants were chosen to purchase the 1,313 available bottles, resulting in the lottery’s fairness being questioned. This lottery offered the chance to purchase four rare whiskeys from Buffalo Trace’s Antique Collection, a series of rare rye and whiskey bottles beloved by collectors. Some state-held liquor authorities use lottery systems to distribute limited-edition and rare spirits, according to the Virginia ABC.
Users commenting on the ABC’s Facebook page, Spirited Virginia, noted the discrepancies in the number of winners versus bottles offered. During the late April lottery, two participants received the chance to purchase all four bottles, Virginia ABC says, while 50 received the chance to purchase three bottles. An additional 200 entrants won the opportunity to purchase two of the set’s bottles.
“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. The drawings for each lottery product are separate, and each lottery drawing is conducted independently,” per a statement from the Virginia ABC.
This is the second recent instance of reported lottery unfairness in Virginia ABC’s data system. Last July, two men were indicted on felony charges after allegedly leaking information on rare whiskey sales to potential buyers. At least one member of the state’s liquor authority was tied to the crime, as the nonprofit Virginia Mercury reports.
The Virginia ABC confirmed in a statement that the department will honor the results of the late April lottery.
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