Pennsylvania To Begin Lottery Process For Rare Whiskies

With the height of the fall rare bourbon hunting season upon us right now, there are certainly many ways to possibly obtain a bottling of a certain whiskey you are seeking. One common way this is done by liquor store owners is via lottery. Now, however, a liquor control state is getting in on the game, with Pennsylvania announcing today plans for its own lottery system focused on “limited release” spirits.

Buffalo Trace French Oak bourbons

This new lottery system, open for the most part only to Pennsylvania residents and licensees, will first make available 24 bottles of Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection, including 12 bottles of French Oak Barrel Aged Bourbon 100 Proof and 12 bottles of French Oak Barrel Head Aged Bourbon. Each 375mL bottle will cost $48.49.

Here’s what those who qualify to get in on this will have to do to take part, according to the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board:

Interested parties must be registered customers at with billing information on file through Quick Checkout Profiles. Following registration, participants may opt in to this debut lottery between 8:00 AM Monday, Oct. 5, and 11:00 PM Saturday, Oct. 10.

Separate lotteries will be conducted for each of these rare bourbons, and lottery participants may opt into one or both drawings. Purchase is limited to one bottle per participant, and if a participant wins a bottle in the first drawing, the participant will be removed from the following drawing.

Lottery drawings will be witnessed by an independent third party, and winners will be selected at random by a computer program.

A policy of “one-bottle-per-customer” for its rarest products will be enforced by the PLCB, and those who win will get notified by email after the lottery ends.

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“In recent years,” said PLCB Chairman of the Board Tim Holden in a statement, “certain products have become very popular among aficionados, enthusiasts and collectors. When sold through our traditional online store in the past, the extraordinary demand for these products, which are often sold at prices far below what consumers find in other states, often led to products selling out within only a few minutes.”

In order to ensure that all consumers interested in a particular high-demand product have a fair chance to purchase the product, we have developed a lottery system for our most limited products.”

PLCB alcoholic beverage control in Pennsylvania is big business there, as the more than 600 wine and spirits stores operated by them have contributed nearly $14 billion back to state coffers since the board’s inception.