Pennsylvania Holding A Liquor Lottery To Sell Rare Booze

When it comes to rare alcohol, Pennsylvania is trying to make sure anyone who wants to buy their favorite limited-quantity wines and spirits has a fair shot: the state’s Liquor Control Board is going to host a lottery this month to give drinkers a chance to get their hands on products that are hard to come by.

Pennsylvania is in a unique situation here — the LCB owns and operates all liquor stores in the state. So if any people — or businesses — want to buy liquor or wine, it has to go through the state’s hands first.

The lottery is the state’s attempt to make up for last year, when a first-come, first-served sale of rare Pappy Van Winkle bourbon crashed the website set up to sell it, reports the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Officials are hoping the lottery system will be fairer.

The first lottery will be held on Oct. 13, with 24 bottles of Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection up for grabs: 12 bottles of French Oak Barrel Aged Bourbon 100 Proof and 12 bottles of French Oak Barrel Head Aged Bourbon, with each 375 ml bottle selling for $48.49. Each lottery entrant can only buy one bottle.

Retailers as well as individual consumers will be able to take part in the lottery, with 75% of products available for the general public and 25% reserved for bars and restaurants.

“In recent years, 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,” Tim Holden, PLCB chairman, said in a statement.

“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.”

Lottery participants will have to register online first and put their billing information on file, and then opt in to the lottery between today and Saturday, Oct. 10. Winners will be selected at random by a computer program.

Will Pennsylvania’s liquor lottery be a win for customers? [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

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