The Pappy Van Winkle family collection of bourbons. Photo from Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery Facebook page
Photo: Staff Writer
Photo: Staff Writer

How to get in on this year’s Pappy Van Winkle bourbon lottery

Online entries will be accepted until midnight this Friday, Dec. 13

Time is running out on your chance to enter a lottery for the opportunity to purchase some of the most rare and coveted bourbons at standard retail prices.

While entering a lottery just for the chance to BUY a bottle of bourbon may seem odd, keep in mind, a similar bottle lottery drew nearly 75,000 entries last year, and that was more than twice as many as the year before. The bottles sell at auction and other secondary markets for much more than their Ohio retail price, although the Ohio Division of Liquor Control says the bottles sold through its lottery “are for personal use, not for resale.”

Details for the 2019 Ohio Division of Liquor Control Pappy Van Winkle and other rare Buffalo Trace bourbon lottery were announced on Nov. 15. The lottery began Dec. 2 and will run through 11:59 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 13.

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There will be roughly 900 total bottles for the lottery between the two collections, according to Lindsey LeBerth, spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Liquor Control confirmed.

Here is the list of bottles in the lottery:

• Old Rip Van Winkle 10, $69.99 

• Old Rip Van Winkle 12, $79.99 

• Pappy Van Winkle 15, $119.99 

• Pappy Van Winkle 20, $199.99 

• Pappy Van Winkle 23, $299.99 

• Eagle Rare 17, $99.99 

• George T. Stagg, $99.99 

• Sazerac Rye 18, $99.99 

• Thomas H. Handy, $99.99 

• William Larue Weller, $99.99

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Bourbon fans can enter both lotteries with one submission and have a chance to win a product from both collections. When you enter, you can choose to enter one lottery or both.

To be clear here, winners of the lottery are NOT NOT NOT winning a free bottle of bourbon. They are winning the right to purchase one bottle of a specific bourbon that has been designated on their winning entry. They will have to pay the regular — but not-jacked-up — retail price.

Winners will be notified in early January using the email address entered with their submission. Those winners must purchase their bottle by Jan. 19 or risk forfeiting the ability to purchase.

Here’s how to enter:

Visit to access the entry page. After submission, you will receive a six digit ticket number; keep that number handy to help verify if you are a winner.

Last year’s lottery drew over 73,000 entries, more than twice as many as the inaugural 2017 bottle lottery.

Want to know what all the Pappy Van Winkle fuss is about? Try the bourbons at a special tasting at Easy Tiger Tuesday.


Bourbon enthusiasts who are still crying in their Four Roses over missing out on the 2018 Ohio Division of Liquor Control Pappy Van Winkle and other rare Buffalo Trace bourbon lottery have a second chance for the opportunity to purchase some of the most sought-after spirits on the market.

And here’s what they have to do to to re-enter the lottery: Absolutely nothing.

Officials with the division of liquor control announced Monday that they would essentially hold a “second-chance” drawing Feb. 26, 2019, for those who entered and missed out last December on the chance to buy Pappy and a handful of other rare bourbons that went unclaimed by previous lottery winners or by wholesale bar and restaurant accounts. There will be 93 bottles in today’s “bonus” lottery.

“So how does one enter? You don’t,” a liquor-control release said. “Well, at least you don’t have to enter AGAIN. Everyone who entered the initial lottery in December, minus the winners, is included in this bonus lottery.”  

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Winners can find out late this afternoon via email whether they won the right to purchase the sought-after elixirs, and they will have from March 8-18 to claim their bottles. The list of winners also will be published late today at

Questions? The division of liquor control can be reached at (877) 812-0013 or by email at


The deadline is one minute before midnight tonight, 11:59 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21, 2018, to enter the Ohio Division of Liquor Control’s expanded bourbon lottery. Ohioans can enter the lottery online at

Full details of the bottle lottery, what will be available for purchase, and how it works is below.

*** ORIGINAL STORY (Dec. 7, 2018)***

Ohio will expand its holiday bourbon lottery this year to give more of the Buckeye state’s bourbon enthusiasts the opportunity to purchase some of the most sought-after spirits on the market, including, yes, the Pappy Van Winkle 23-year that to some aficionados is the Holy Grail of bourbon.

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Ohio Division of Liquor Control Superintendent Jim Canepa announced Nov. 14, 2018, that the 2018 Ohio Bottle Lottery begins at 12:01 a.m. Monday, Dec. 10 and runs through 11:59 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21. That 12-day stretch is the entry period. Similar to last year, paper entries will be available at all 475 state liquor-agency stores, but new this year, Ohioans can enter online without fussing with a paper ticket by going to after the lottery begins. All entries, whether paper or online, will have an equal chance of winning.

And that’s not all that’s new this year. The 2018 lottery includes not only all of the Pappy Van Winkle collection that was sold last year (a few more bottles of it, actually), but also five other relatively rare  bottles that are part of the Buffalo Trace Distillery Antique Collection, Canepa said. (The full list is below.)

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Those Ohioans whose names are drawn will be notified during the first full week of January, then will have a week, between Jan. 25 and Feb. 1, to buy their special bottles at their designated state liquor agency store.

>> RELATED: Ohio finds a New Riff for its single-barrel bourbon program

To be clear here, winners of the lottery are NOT NOT NOT winning a free bottle of bourbon. They are winning the right to purchase one bottle of a specific bourbon that has been designated on their winning entry. They will have to pay the regular, but not-jacked-up, retail price. 

RELATED: ‘GAME-CHANGER’: Ohio’s small distilleries catch big break from the state

And if the retail prices listed here sound high, just Google some of those Pappy  products and take a look at what they’re selling for on the secondary market elsewhere in the country. The results may astonish you.

Here were the products included in that Lottery: 

Pappy Van Winkle 

  •  Old Rip Van Winkle 10, $54.96 
  •  Old Rip Van Winkle 12, $64.22 
  •  Pappy Van Winkle 15, $91.98 
  •  Pappy Van Winkle 20, $156.80 
  •  Pappy Van Winkle 23, $249.38 

 Buffalo Trace Antique Collection

  •  Eagle Rare 17, $99.99 
  •  George T. Stagg, $99.99 
  •  Sazerac Rye 18, $99.99 
  •  Thomas H. Handy, $99.99 
  •  William Larue Weller, $99.99 

 Canepa said the division of liquor control is holding the lotteries to give as many Ohioans as possible the chance to purchase some of the tiny-batch production bourbons in high demand nationwide. The division superintendent himself has been making pitches to the distilleries that produce some of these rare, sought-after bourbons to allocate some bottles to Ohio.

“We’re trying to create the best market in our state so we can lure producers to bring their product to our market,” Canepa said in a conference call today with journalists regarding the 2018 bottle lottery.

RELATED: Local distilleries get green light to offer food, drinks (May 2016)

Lottery tickets will ask the entrant for the usual information plus his or her Ohio Driver’s License number, which will be used to confirm the winners are indeed residents of the Buckeye state and are of legal drinking age.

Here’s a bit more of the legal language the Ohio Liquor Control agency shared:

The 2018 Ohio Bottle Lottery is limited to one entry per person. There is no cost to enter, and no purchase is necessary at a Contract Liquor Agency to receive a ticket. Winners have the right to purchase one bottle at retail. Bottles are for personal use, not for resale. Bottles available for purchase will be determined by Division of Liquor Control staff. Entrants must be at least 21 years old and an Ohio resident to enter and win. Entrants acknowledge that their information becomes a public record subject to possible public release under Ohio’s public records law. The lottery is not open to employees of the Ohio Division of Liquor Control, Republic National Distributing Company, JobsOhio, agency store owners and their employees/immediate families. All entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. 12/21/2018. Winners will be notified in early January. Winners must purchase their bottle by 2/1/2019 or risk forfeiting the ability to purchase.

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