Tuesday, Oct 16, 2018
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Bourbon lottery participants have 1 in 100 chance for prized Pappy Van Winkle bottle


Depending on how well you made it through Thanksgiving dinner without getting drawn into any political arguments with your distant relatives, you may be feeling lucky, unlucky, or in need of a drink. 

If you’re in that last group, let us cheer you up. Assuming you entered the state division of liquor control’s lottery for a chance to buy a bottle of highly sought-after Pappy Van Winkle bourbon, you have a little better than a 1 in 100 chance of your number being drawn.

The department said this week that the state received 27,584 entries in the online lottery, which ran from Nov. 6 through Nov. 17. The state’s haul from the Old Rip Van Winkle distillery? Three-hundred thirty-eight bottles.

That puts your odds of winning the rights to a bottle at about 1.2 percent. Those who had their number pulled will be notified soon. 

“Winners are currently going through a verification process — we need to ensure they’re all 21 and Ohio residents — and then they will be notified late next week,” said Lindsey LeBerth, a spokesman for the division of liquor control. 

The November lottery was the second time the state has sought to distribute the rare bourbon that way. The first time, they collected about 8,000 entries. However, the agency put far more publicity behind its second effort, leading to a more than threefold increase in entries.

Winners will still have to lay out a pretty good chunk of money. The state is selling the bottles at the manufacturer’s suggested retail price, which ranges from $54.94 for the Old Rip Van Winkle 10-year to $249.38 for the top-tier Pappy Van Winkle 23-year.

If you don’t win in the lottery, there’s an ever-so-slim chance you could still get your hands on a bottle. State officials said any bottles that haven’t yet been claimed after Dec. 18 will go onto the store shelves like any other bottle.

Contact Tyrel Linkhorn at tlinkhorn@theblade.com419-724-6134, or on Twitter @TyrelLinkhorn.

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