- The Washington Times - Friday, June 28, 2002

Seven was the lucky number for about 550 D.C. Lottery players, who picked four sevens in the D.C. Four game, racking up winnings totaling nearly $1.2 million and beating the one-in-10,000 odds.

The winners had picked 7-7-7-7 for Wednesday afternoon's drawings.

"Seven is supposed to be a lucky number," said the lottery Communications Manager Bob Hainey. "We got some who people played a hunch. They have intuitions about what to play."

Johnny Boykin, 37, of the 100 block of Upsal Street SE was one. He chose that number partly because his birthday is in July, the seventh month of the year.

"I started playing the sevens about a year now," he said. "I'll continue to play," although maybe not the 7s.

Mr. Boykin, owner of the music company Outsiders 2000 in Temple Hills, won $5,200 "two years ago."

Birthdays are indeed lucky. Virginia Hymes, a teacher living in Southwest, was born on the 27th of June, 61 years before her grandson was born on June 27, 1995.

Mrs. Hymes, who won $5,000, said it was because of the "laws of probability" that make winning a greater probability if one plays often. She said $500 of her win will go into a bank account for her grandson.

Each $1 ticket won $5,000 and each 50-cent ticket won $2,500. Some winners bought more than one ticket.

Winners began coming to collect from the D.C. Lottery office at 14th and U streets NW Wednesday afternoon. Dozens of padded chairs were set up in the lobby for winners while their numbers and identifications were processed.

"People are being processed as fast as possible," said Mr. Hainey as names were called and cashiers examined winning tickets, driver's licenses and Social Security numbers.

Usually, the D.C. Lottery makes a profit from the daily plays. The profits of all games and the Powerball go into the District's general fund. Last year, D.C. Lottery paid $84 million to the city.

Income from the D.C. Four daily usually amounts to about $187,000. But Wednesday, the take was only $74,216.50, Mr. Hainey said.

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