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‘Dreams Were Everything to Numbers Players’: Virginia Man Wins Lottery After Dreaming of Numbers in Rare Sequence Bringing Black Tradition to the Forefront

A Virginia man’s dream has led him to defeat the odds.

Henrico, Virginia, retiree Alonzo Coleman spent $2 to pick 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, and 18 in a state lottery game. Splitting his wager four ways, he won $250,000 in the Bank a Million game after seeing the numbers in a dream, according to Virginia lottery officials.

Coleman collected his six-figure award on June 14 from the June 11 drawing.

Alfonzo Coleman won $250,000 in the Virginia Lottery. (Photo: Virginia Lottery)

“It was hard to believe!” Coleman said.” It still hasn’t hit me yet!”

Virginia’s Bank a Million game allows players to pick six different numbers from one through 40 for a chance to win $1 million, $500,000, and $250,000 after taxes, depending on whether the person wagers $2 or splits the wager two or four ways, reports show.

According to lottery officials, the odds of winning the million-dollar prize are 1 in 3.8 million.

In May, Keith Boone of Chesapeake, Virginia, won the lottery for the Virginia lottery for the second time. Boone’s $1 ticket led him to a $712,544 jackpot overcoming the odds of the Cash 5 with EZ Match game on May 28. He had a 1 in 749,398 chance, according to the lottery officials. He told lottery officials he played numbers that had not been picked in the game “in a while.” He also won $100,000 in May 1999.

Betting on numbers from dreams is a Black tradition that dates back to the Harlem Renaissance when African Americans would “run numbers” on the policy racket as they were barred from the finance industry.

“Dreams were everything to numbers players, just as dreams have deep significance in Black culture,” said Bridgett M. Davis, author of “The World According to Fannie Davis: My Mother’s Life in the Detroit Numbers.”

Several books have been published in and outside the Black community connecting numbers to certain dreams.

“Many Black folks believed when they dreamed about something specific, that spirit was blessing them with a certain number to play,” Davis wrote. “This is one key way that the Numbers is intricately connected to Black folks’ larger sense of hoping for a better future, of getting closer to achieving the American dream.”

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