Republican David Yancey was named as the winner of an election on Thursday evening (4 January) in a Virginia district after weeks of debate over the result.

A lot draw had to be used to decide who would win the seat in Virginia's House of Delegates, after the GOP incumbent tied with Democrat Shelly Simonds on 11,608 votes each back in November.

After recounts and checks, it was decided that the contested state seat would have to be decided by the luck of a draw.

It was a crucial result as Democrats managed to pull off a near-upset by flipping the house in their favour.

Yancey's name was pulled out of a ceramic bowl over Shelley's, giving the Republicans a slender lead of just 51-49.

If Shelley had won, it would have forced the two parties to share control of the state legislature.

The quirk of the election decider dates back to the a law that dates back to 1705 to help deal with such rare eventualities.

Shelley, despite losing, refused to admit defeat, saying "at this moment, I am not conceding".

Yancey released a statement on Thursday after the ballot saying: "This race could not have been any closer, and when I return to the House of Delegates, I want all residents of Newport News to know I am ready to serve as their delegate and look forward to hearing how I can improve the lives of all."

It isn't the first time that a vote has had to be decided like this.

In 2015, a House seat in Mississippi had to be decided by the drawing of straws and back in 2006, a coin toss was used to decide the fate of a seat in Alaska.