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Pennsylvania Lottery History – The PA Lottery from 1971 to Now

Key events in Pennsylvania Lottery history from Lottery inception in 1971 to the present day.

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2013

Oct. 3, 2013:  After a historic, 41-draw jackpot run, a single Match 6 Lotto jackpot-winning ticket worth a record of over $7.3 million was sold in Cambria County. The game’s previous record was a $6.9 million jackpot won in March 2007.

July 30, 2013: After waiting more than one month to come forward, a Delaware County woman claims a $77.4 million Powerball® jackpot from the Saturday, June 22, 2013 drawing. With an annuity value of $131.5 million, it was the 17th jackpot-winning Powerball ticket sold by the Pennsylvania Lottery.

May 2, 2013: One Treasure Hunt ticket sold in Westmoreland County won $245,000, the largest jackpot in the game’s history. Treasure Hunt debuted as a Pennsylvania Lottery game on May 8, 2007.

Feb. 6, 2013:  A Pennsylvania Lottery Cash 5 record jackpot of $1.9 million is shared by two tickets sold in Lackawanna and Wayne counties.

2012

Dec. 30, 2012: The final ticket for the Pennsylvania Lottery’s 15th Millionaire Raffle drawing is sold at 5:53 p.m., six days prior to the Jan. 5 drawing and continuing the Millionaire Raffle’s historic sell-out streak.

Dec. 21, 2012: A Bucks County man holding the Pennsylvania Lottery’s 16th Powerball jackpot-winning ticket claims a $33.1 million cash prize. He had unknowingly carried the winning ticket in his pocket during a 5-day hunting trip.

Nov. 1, 2012: “Penny from the Pennsylvania Lottery” debuts as the Pennsylvania Lottery’s new benefits awareness spokesperson, reminding the public that playing the Lottery is great way to have fun and also support benefits for older Pennsylvanians.

April 25, 2012: A group of employees of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) share the Pennsylvania Lottery's 15th Powerball jackpot-winning ticket and claim a prize of $107.5 million cash.

March 1, 2012: After serving as Lottery’s primary instant-games spokes-rodent for eight years, Gus, the second-most famous groundhog in Pennsylvania, goes into semi-retirement.

January 15, 2012: To celebrate Powerball’s 20th anniversary, the game is revamped to offer bigger starting jackpots, feature better overall odds of winning and create more millionaire winners. 

2011

November 19, 2011: Pennsylvania’s 14th Powerball jackpot is claimed by Steven Lloyd of Harding, Luzerne County. Lloyd claims a cash prize of $37.6 million.

June 20, 2011: The Pennsylvania Lottery taps into the social media world and launches a Facebook page and Twitter account.

May 8, 2011: On the fourth anniversary of the debut of mid-day Lottery game Treasure Hunt, Lewis Spangler, of Howard, Centre County, won $213,953 from the game –the largest prize won by a single ticket in its history.

April 19, 2011: A Philadelphia man wins a Cash 5 jackpot worth $1,685,206—the largest jackpot-winning single ticket in the history of Cash 5.

March 10, 2011: Three tickets with winning Lottery numbers share a prize of $221,932.50 – the largest Treasure Hunt Lottery jackpot since the Pennsylvania Lottery introduced the game in May 2007.

January 9, 2011: A Somerset County man, Ronald Flickinger, has the winning Lottery numbers and wins a Cash 5 Lottery jackpot from the Pennsylvania Lottery worth $1,570,330 – the largest jackpot won by a single ticket in the game’s history.

2010

December 2010: The Pennsylvania Lottery partners with The Hershey Company on a $5 instant game, Hershey’s™ Kisses & Cash™.

July 2010: The Pennsylvania Lottery brings back instant games featuring the Steelers® and Eagles™ for a second season.

July 1, 2010: The Pennsylvania Lottery pays out $10 million total – the maximum – to 4,000 Big 4 Lottery winners who played 8-8-8-8 that evening. That number combination had not been drawn since 1995.

June 1, 2010: Tickets go on sale for Match 6 Lotto, which returns to the Pennsylvania Lottery lineup just as it was designed to during its original run from January 2004 to March 2009. Tickets cost $2, and the jackpot starts at $500,000. The first drawing is June 3, 2010.

May 31, 2010: The Pennsylvania Lottery holds the final drawing for Mix & Match.

May 2010: The Pennsylvania Lottery and The Hershey Company introduce a new $2 instant game, Reese’s™.

April 27, 2010: With no jackpot winner for the final drawing, Super 7’s cash jackpot of $4.8 million rolls down to the lower-tier winners who matched six, five and four of the winning Lottery numbers.

January 31, 2010: The Pennsylvania Lottery launches sales for Mega Millions, a second multi-state jackpot game. The first Mega Millions Lottery drawing for Pennsylvania Lottery players is held February 2, 2010. Pennsylvania has a second-tier prize winner of $250,000 in its first drawing.

2009

December 2009: The Pennsylvania Lottery introduces a new $2 instant game featuring the Philadelphia Flyers® and Pittsburgh Penguins®.

August 2009: The Pennsylvania Lottery partners with the Pittsburgh Steelers™ and Philadelphia Eagles™ to create two new instant games.

March 11, 2009: The Pennsylvania Lottery brings back Super 7, with its first drawing on March 13. Super 7 Lottery players choose seven numbers from 1 to 77, and to win the jackpot, players must match seven of the 11 winning numbers drawn by the PA Lottery.

March 10, 2009: Match 6 Lotto has its final drawing.

February 28, 2009: Pennsylvania’s 13th Powerball Lottery jackpot is claimed by Palmira Nicolo of Wyndmoor, Montgomery County. Nicolo splits the jackpot with a winner in Delaware and claims a cash prize of $46.6 million.

January 7, 2009: Powerball updates the game and increases its starting jackpot to $20 million.

2008

November 7, 2008: Pennsylvania Lottery officials declare a foul during the Cash 5 drawing.

October 29, 2008: Myrna and Thomas Shearer of York win Pennsylvania’s 12th Powerball jackpot and choose the cash option for $30.2 million.

October 4, 2008: Twenty-two U.S. Postal Service employees share the Pennsylvania Lottery’s 11th Powerball jackpot-winning ticket and claim a prize of $10.2 million cash.

September 2008: The Pennsylvania Lottery hosts the annual conference for the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries (NASPL), where Lottery representatives and vendors from across the continent gathered in Philadelphia to share industry experiences, achievements and opportunities.  The theme of the conference was “Revolutionary Thinking.”

August 26, 2008: The Pennsylvania Lottery debuts a new numbers game, Quinto, with sales launching for mid-day and evening drawings. The top prize for a straight wager matching all five winning Quinto Lottery numbers in the exact order drawn is $50,000.

August 2, 2008: The Edwards and Funk 14 of Lancaster County claim Pennsylvania’s 10th Powerball jackpot and share in a $42.5 million cash prize. Barrie Edwards received the jackpot-winning ticket for free as a promotion when he purchased two Match 6 Lotto tickets.

April 15, 2008: Two tickets with winning Lottery numbers share the largest Cash 5 jackpot in Pennsylvania Lottery history – $1,867,253.

March 2008: The Pennsylvania Lottery launches sales for a Major League Baseball™ instant game, featuring the Philadelphia Phillies® and Pittsburgh Pirates®.

February 2008: The Pennsylvania Lottery makes its first update to Cash 5 since the game’s introduction in 1992. Cash 5 players now select five numbers from 1 to 43, and the starting jackpot is $125,000.

2007

May 23, 2007: Pennsylvania Lottery officials declare a foul during The Daily Number evening drawing.

May 8, 2007: Treasure Hunt, a new mid-day, terminal-based game debuts. Each Treasure Hunt play costs $1, and players select five numbers from 1 to 30. Players win by matching two or more numbers. Treasure Hunt jackpots start at $10,000. Just as with PA Lottery’s other mid-day games, Treasure Hunt’s results are available as an animation on PA Lottery’s website, palottery.com.

May 1, 2007: After a broken ball is discovered in routine post-drawings, the Pennsylvania Lottery conducts a second Match 6 Lotto drawing and pays out on two sets of winning numbers.

April 12, 2007: Pennsylvania Lottery officials declare a foul during The Daily Number evening drawing.

January 23, 2007: The Pennsylvania Lottery starts sales for Mix & Match, and the first Mix & Match drawing is on January 25. For each $2 play, players pick five numbers from 1 to 19. Players can win by matching one or more of their numbers in the same position as the winning Lottery numbers drawn by PA Lottery and by matching three or more of their numbers in any position. Cash jackpots start at $50,000.

January 22, 2007: The final Lucky for Life Lotto drawing is conducted by the Pennsylvania Lottery.

2005

November 22, 2005: The Pennsylvania Lottery kicks off sales for Millionaire Raffle, the first raffle-style Lottery game in the nation, with 500,000 tickets and four guaranteed $1 million top prizes available for players. Tickets sell out in less than two weeks for the PA Lottery’s inaugural Millionaire Raffle, which has its first drawing on December 31, 2005.

November 14, 2005: The Pennsylvania Lottery, in partnership with the Office of the Attorney General, thwarts an attempt to claim an $853,492 Powerball prize with a forged ticket.

March 16, 2005: A Butler County couple, Bob and Patty MacZura of Cranberry Township, win Pennsylvania’s ninth Powerball jackpot and receive a cash prize of $10.2 million.

January 22, 2005: Three Pittsburgh women, Kathleen Fitzgerald, Karen Rodgers and Janet Bigler, share in Pennsylvania’s eighth Powerball jackpot and claim a cash prize of $14.7 million.

2004

December 22, 2004: A seventh Powerball jackpot winning ticket is purchased in Pennsylvania by four members of the Joseph Petto family – Joe and Mercedes of Philadelphia; Mike Tartini of Roseland, N.J.; and Keith Wesley of Trevose, Bucks County. They claim a cash jackpot of $5.6 million.

December 8, 2004: A sixth Powerball jackpot winning ticket is purchased in Pennsylvania. The WLT Trust and its beneficiaries, Florence Ayers of Harmony, Butler County; James Ayers of Mars, Butler County; and Sharon Kreindel of Beechwood, Ohio, claim a cash jackpot of $93.4 million.

September 30, 2004: Tickets for the Pennsylvania Lottery’s newest terminal-based game, Lucky for Life Lotto, go on sale. The game’s first drawing is on October 2. Lucky for Life Lotto top prizes are paid in annual installments of $36,000 – less 25 percent federal withholding – with a guaranteed $1 million payout.

May 29, 2004: Pennsylvania’s fifth Powerball jackpot goes to brothers Jim Hare of Philadelphia and Tom Hare of Drexel Hill, Delaware County. The Hare brothers choose the cash option for $26.9 million.

May 19, 2004: The Pennsylvania Lottery becomes the first state to offer its players self-service units that sell both instant and terminal-based games when it unveils its Player Activated Terminals (PATs).

May 8, 2004: The fourth Powerball jackpot-winning ticket sold in Pennsylvania is claimed by Steven and Kristine White of Skillman, N.J., who receive a cash prize of $110.2 million, which is still the largest jackpot prize for a single ticket in Pennsylvania Lottery history.

April 23, 2004: First triple is drawn in The Daily Number mid-day game (7-7-7).

April 1, 2004: Gus, the second-most famous groundhog in Pennsylvania, makes his television commercial debut. Gus is the mascot for the Pennsylvania Lottery’s instant games.

March 15, 2004: First quad is drawn in the Big 4 mid-day game (4-4-4-4).

January 28, 2004: Tickets for the Pennsylvania Lottery’s new terminal-based game, Match 6 Lotto, go on sale. The first Match 6 Lotto drawing is on January 30. Players can select their first set of six numbers, from 1 to 49, and a computer selects two more sets of six numbers, for a total of 18 numbers. Players can match numbers on a single line or combine lines. The starting jackpot is $500,000.

January 27, 2004: For the final Super 6 Lotto drawing, no one hits the jackpot, and the $8 million cash jackpot rolls down into the lower prize tiers for the game, awarding more than 70,000 players additional prize money.

January 12, 2004: The Pennsylvania Lottery moves the live evening drawing out of the studio and conducts it at the Pennsylvania Farm Show. This is the second time the PA Lottery drawing is held outside of a television studio.

2003

December 31, 2003: Lisa Ensor of York becomes Pennsylvania’s third Powerball jackpot winner, splitting the jackpot with a ticket sold in South Carolina and collecting a $60.1 million cash prize.

July 10, 2003: The Golden Opportunities Challenge is introduced. This innovative new PA Lottery program – the first of its kind in the nation – encourages businesses in Pennsylvania to purchase PA Lottery tickets to increase productivity among employees as rewards for jobs well done.

July 9, 2003: Pennsylvania has its second Powerball jackpot winning ticket, purchased by Scott and Marian Calligan of Cranberry Township, Butler County. The Calligans split the jackpot with a ticket sold in Missouri and claim a cash prize of $73.6 million.

February 11, 2003: The Pennsylvania Lottery introduces mid-day drawings for The Daily Number and Big 4 games as a permanent addition to the lineup. Mid-day drawings are seven days a week, and players can view an animation of the results on Lottery’s website, palottery.com.

2002

September 14, 2002: Fewer than three months after the game’s introduction here, Powerball has its first jackpot-winning ticket sold in Pennsylvania. Edward Varley of Hatfield, Montgomery County, splits the prize with a winner in Indiana and takes home $30.8 million in cash.

June 27, 2002: The Pennsylvania Lottery launches sales for Powerball, a multi-state jackpot game. The first drawing for Pennsylvania Lottery players is June 29.

March 24, 2002: When a ball cracks during the live drawing, the Pennsylvania Lottery draws a second set of Cash 5 numbers and pays out on both sets of winning numbers.

1998

December 26, 1998: The Million Dollar Spin televised game ends.

September 12, 1998: The Pennsylvania Lottery holds its first drawing for a new terminal-based game, Super 6 Lotto. Super 6 Lotto replaces both the Wild Card Lotto and Keystone Jackpot games. Players select 6 numbers from 1 to 69 and get 3 plays for $1. Jackpots start at $3 million (annuity) and are paid as either a 26-year annuity or cash.

September 11, 1998: The Pennsylvania Lottery holds the final drawing for Wild Card Lotto.

September 5, 1998: The Pennsylvania Lottery holds the final drawing for the Keystone Jackpot game.

1997

June 10, 1997: Pennsylvania Lottery’s total historical contributions to programs that benefit older Pennsylvanians top $10 billion.

March 8, 1997: The Pennsylvania Lottery broadcasts a 25th anniversary game show to conclude its silver anniversary celebration. Dick Clark hosts the production, which awards more than $400,000 in prize money during the 30-minute show.

February 1997: The Pennsylvania Lottery conducts its first mid-day drawings for The Daily Number and Big 4 as a month-long promotion.

1996

March 10, 1996: The Hearts & Diamonds game retires.

1995

November 4, 1995: Super 7’s replacement, Keystone Jackpot, has its first drawing. The jackpot starts at $3 million, increasing in increments of $500,000, making Keystone Jackpot the PA Lottery’s largest jackpot game at that time. Players select six numbers from 1 to 33 in the top section, then pick a separate blue "Key Ball" number in the bottom section, again choosing from 1 to 33.

October 28, 1995: After over nine years, Super 7 retires with the distinction of having Pennsylvania’s largest jackpot ever.

1994

October 5, 1994: PA Lottery introduces its first all-electronic jackpot game, Hearts & Diamonds. The Pennsylvania Lottery electronically selects and displays 5 of 26 playing cards from a deck containing the 2-through-Ace cards of both the hearts and diamonds suits. A computer randomly deals players all hands; the average top prize is $20,000.

1993

July 1993: The Pennsylvania Lottery begins installing its first Instant Ticket Vending Machines (ITVMs).

1992

April 23, 1992: The Pennsylvania Lottery introduces its longest-running jackpot game, Cash 5. Originally, Cash 5 players select five numbers from 1 to 39 for a chance at the all-cash jackpot, starting at $100,000. Cash 5 starts as a weekly game and eventually becomes a nightly drawing in 1998.

1991

July 29, 1991: The Pennsylvania Lottery’s total historical sales top $15 billion – a North American record.

April 10, 1991: Super 7 gets an update, with 10 winning numbers drawn from 1 to 74.

1990

May 5, 1990: Million Dollar Spin replaces Saturday Spin.

1989

November 3, 1989: First quad is drawn in Big 4 (7-7-7-7).

April 26, 1989: Fourteen winning Super 7 tickets split the Pennsylvania Lottery’s largest jackpot to date – a $115.5 million annuity.

1988

May 3, 1988: The Pennsylvania Lottery’s total historical sales top $10 billion.

February 1988: The Pennsylvania Lottery ends a successful run for the Pennsylvania Lotto game and replaces it with Wild Card Lotto. Players select six numbers from 1 to 48 in Wild Card Lotto for a chance at the jackpot. With the Wild Card number, players also have six ways to win.

1987

March 7, 1987: On the Pennsylvania Lottery’s 15th anniversary, Saturday Spin, a televised wheel-spin game, makes its debut. Each week, the Lottery selects five finalists from those who send in a redeemed free ticket. The finalists have the chance to win $50,000, $100,000 or a $1 million annuity.

1986

August 14, 1986: The Pennsylvania Lottery introduces Super 7, the first lottery game of its type in the nation. For Super 7’s first incarnation, the Lottery draws 11 winning numbers from 1 to 80. Players match seven of the 11 winning numbers to win the jackpot, which starts at $2 million.

1982

April 16, 1982: The Pennsylvania Lottery’s first lotto-style game, Pennsylvania Lotto, debuts. Pennsylvania Lotto lets players pick six numbers from 1 to 40 and offers a starting jackpot of $1 million. During its five-and-a-half year run, Pennsylvania Lotto creates 400 millionaires.

1981

June 1981: The Pennsylvania Lottery moves the televised drawings of The Daily Number and Big 4 from WTAE’s studios in Pittsburgh to WHP in Harrisburg.

1980

November 22, 1980: A second numbers game, Big 4, joins the Pennsylvania Lottery’s lineup. Originally, Big 4 featured one live weekly drawing, but it eventually expands to seven nights a week.

1977

May 28, 1977: First triple is drawn in The Daily Number (8-8-8).

March 1, 1977: The Daily Number, the first of the Lottery’s numbers games, debuts. With The Daily Number, players can select their own three-digit number and learn whether or not they are winners through a live, televised drawing.

1975

May 1975: The Pennsylvania Lottery introduces its first instant game.

March 13, 1975: The Pennsylvania Lottery has its first televised Millionaire Drawing.

1973

1973: The Pennsylvania Lottery expands to three weekly games with the addition of Lucky 7 and Winner’s Choice, two new $1 games.

1972

March 7, 1972: The Pennsylvania Lottery premieres with a 50-cent ticket featuring weekly drawings and a grand prize of $1 million. The new PA Lottery created four winners of $1 million in just six months. Even more impressive was the $57.7 million in net revenue generated by the end of the first fiscal year – nearly double the original projection of $30 million.

1971

October 21, 1971: Henry Kaplan is appointed as the Pennsylvania Lottery’s first executive director.

August 26, 1971: The Pennsylvania Lottery is created with enactment of Act 91 of 1971. Pennsylvania Lottery proceeds were initially targeted to provide property tax relief for Pennsylvania seniors. Since 1971, PA Lottery-funded programs have grown to include rent rebates, free and reduced-fare transit, the low-cost prescription drug programs PACE and PACENET, long-term living services, and the 52 Area Agencies on Aging, including full- and part-time senior centers across Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Lottery remains the only state lottery that designates all proceeds to programs that benefit older residents.

 

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