Mar 21, 2022 - Food and Drink

Virginia’s annual Pappy Van Winkle bourbon lottery is back

Photo shows two bottles of Pappy Van Winkle bourbon: Old Rip Van Winkle 10 Year on left, Van Winkle Special Reserve Bourbon 12 Year on right
Old Rip Van Winkle 10 Year and Van Winkle Special Reserve Bourbon 12 Year are this year's bottle selection. Credit: Virginia ABC

Good news bourbon lovers: Virginia’s annual Pappy Van Winkle lottery is back — this year with two types of Van Winkles — and folks can enter to win a chance to buy once the lottery opens up on Wednesday.

🥃 Why it matters: Kentucky’s celebrated Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery releases its stock only once a year, and there isn't much to go around. So bourbon drinkers across the country snap up the bottles as quickly as possible, often to resell at a huge markup.

  • Since Virginia’s booze sales are regulated by the state, it sells Pappy for the manufacturer’s sales price — often hundreds or thousands dollars less than you can find it on the open market.

The booze: This year’s Pappy's up for grabs are:

How it works: Anyone 21 and over with a valid Virginia driver’s license (you have to prove it when you show up to purchase) can enter the lotteries on Virginia ABC’s website from Wednesday, March 23 until Sunday, March 27 at 11:59pm.

  • Winners will be notified by April 11. Losers, too.

By the numbers: The distillery determined how many bottles Virginia ABC gets to auction.

  • For the Van Winkle Special Reserve Bourbon 12 Year, Virginia ABC has 966 bottles available for residents and an additional 241 for restaurants to enter to win.
  • For the Old Rip Van Winkle 10 Year, it has 289 bottles for residents and 72 for restaurants.
  • Last year had the largest number of entries since the lottery began in 2016, at 302,884. Because, 2021.

FYI in case you were thinking about trying to game the system: duplicate entries are deleted prior to the drawing.

🗞 This article is by Axios Richmond's Karri Peifer! Subscribe to the Axios Richmond newsletter (launching soon).

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