Since selling its first ticket in March 1972, the Massachusetts State Lottery has generated $90.7 billion in sales, awarded $62.1 billion in prizes, returned $19.7 billion in net profit to the Commonwealth for unrestricted local aid available to cities and towns and paid $5.1 billion in commissions and bonuses to its statewide network of retailers. Over the last 40 years, Massachusetts has grown to become one of the most successful lotteries in the nation and adapted to the ever-changing marketplace to provide innovative and exciting games to its players.
Legislation to create a state lottery in Massachusetts is enacted to provide a source of local aid revenue for the 351 cities and towns of the Commonwealth.
The Lottery sells its first-ever ticket. “The Game,” a weekly draw game, holds its first drawing on April 6, 1972 at Faneuil Hall in Boston. Seven people win $50,000.
The legislature transferred supervision of Bingo (Beano) from the Department of Public Safety to the State Lottery Commission. This Division later became known as Charitable Gaming.
Massachusetts becomes the first state to sell Instant Tickets as an alternative to the weekly jackpot game.
The Numbers Game is introduced.
Megabucks is introduced.
Mass Millions is introduced.
Mass Cash is introduced.
The Lottery marks its 20th anniversary with an outdoor celebration at Faneuil Hall, where the first-ever drawing took place.
KENO is introduced.
Massachusetts joins five other states (Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan and Virginia) to create a multi-state lottery game called “The Big Game.”
Maria Grasso, a live-in babysitter from Boston’s Beacon Hill neighborhood wins a $197 million jackpot playing the multi-state The Big Game. It is the largest jackpot in state history and the second-largest in national history.
The Big Game expands to include 10 states and is renamed “Mega Millions.”
Geraldine Williams, a retired janitor from Lowell, wins the then second largest single-winner jackpot in North American history when she claims a $294 million Mega Millions jackpot
After 17 years as a Lottery mainstay, the Mass Millions ends and CASH WinFall is introduced.
The Lottery introduces the “Red Sox Instant Ticket” – the nation’s first instant game to feature a Major League Baseball team logo.
Powerball is introduced in Massachusetts.
Lucky For Life, a new multi-state game played in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, is introduced.
2013: Jackpot Poker, a new poker-themed KENO-style monitor game, is launched at more than 1,200 Lottery retailers across the state. The game, which replaces the Daily Race Game as the Lottery’s second monitor offering, offers players nine ways to win prizes of up to $25,000, as well as provide the opportunity to cash in on a growing jackpot prize.
In May 1974, Massachusetts became the first state to sell Instant Lottery Tickets as an alternative to the weekly jackpot game. “The Instant Game” was the first instant ticket, with a top instant prize of $10,000. There were also three monthly drawings in the Instant Game, for $100,000 and $1,000/year for life.
The following document contains details on Lottery games, sales and historical events that have happened over the past 40+ years. It is very helpful for students doing research projects or for players that want to learn more about the Lottery.
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