By Peter Mucha Posted on Thu, Apr. 1, 2010
Inquirer Staff Writer
Talk about your lucky 7s.
Wednesday night, all 7s came up in Pennsylvania Lottery's Big 4 drawing, resulting in a whopping $7.77 million payout to 3,107 winning tickets.
Even more oddly, the news comes on a day when the Super 7 jackpot is $7.3 million, and Cash 5's top prize is $770,000.
The Big 4 payout was a staggering 1,573 percent of sales, according to lottery spokeswoman Kirstin Alvanitakis.
In other words: The lottery has to dish out about $7.2 million more than it took in for that drawing.
"We definitely lost money on the Big 4, that's for sure," Alvanitakis said. "But it's great for our players. People love to play quadruple numbers."
"It's definitely not an April Fools joke," she said.
A key factor is that Big 4's winning amounts are fixed - they're not a cut of cash collected. A 50-cent wager fetches $2,500, a $1 bet $5,000.
Also, 7-7-7-7 is extraordinarily popular. Most Big 4 drawings produce far fewer winners. Wednesday's midday drawing had 104 winners, and Tuesday evening's game was hit by 250 people, Alvanitakis said.
Luckily for the state, quadruples - popular with players - are rare. The last quadruple drawn was 2-2-2-2 on Sept. 2, 2008. All together, the 1,236 winners raked in $3.09 million.
Only two other times has 7-7-7-7 come up since Big 4 began in November 1980.
WAY to go PA