– The Pennsylvania Lottery is marking the 46th
anniversary of its first drawing, which took place on March 15, 1972. Since then, the Lottery has paid nearly $48 billion in prizes and generated more than $28 billion to benefit older Pennsylvanians.
“As we reflect on 46 great years, we’re hard at work to build the Pennsylvania Lottery of the future,” said Executive Director Drew Svitko. “In coming months, we’ll launch an iLottery online gaming platform and new types of draw games that will help us to modernize our business and generate new funds to benefit older Pennsylvanians.”
Planned for launch in May, iLottery games will offer players located in Pennsylvania a new way to play and win from a mobile device or computer. The Lottery is also recruiting retailers to offer Keno, a new draw game scheduled to begin sales in May. Virtual sports monitor games, expected to launch in June, will show simulated sporting events that depict the outcome of random computerized drawings.
Traditional draw games, scratch-offs and Fast Play games will not be sold through iLottery at launch, but will continue to be available at more than 9,400 retail locations.
“Adding iLottery games, Keno and virtual sports monitor games will help us to remain competitive in a rapidly changing business climate, but lottery games sold at retail will remain the foundation of our business and generate the majority of funds to benefit older Pennsylvanians,” Svitko added.
These planned developments are the latest major steps in a decades-long evolution of the Pennsylvania Lottery, which started with just one game.
On March 7, 1972, sales launched for a 50-cent ticket with weekly drawings for a $50,000 top prize and periodic drawings for $1 million. The first $1 game, Lucky 7, launched that November and featured a weekly drawing. The first scratch-off game, aptly named Instant Lottery, debuted in 1975. Nightly televised drawings debuted in 1977 with The Daily Number – now known as PICK 3.
The Lottery’s original purpose was to provide property tax relief for older homeowners. Today, proceeds are directed to five main program areas: property tax and rent rebates, transportation, care services, prescription assistance, and a variety of local services provided through Area Agencies on Aging across the state. These benefit programs help to make a significant improvement in the quality of life for older adults who receive services.
“We’re excited to develop new types of games that will bolster support for programs that benefit older Pennsylvanians,” Svitko said. “We know that future generations of seniors will be counting on us to be there to help.”
Find a full timeline of Lottery highlights online at our History
page at palottery.com. The website offers details on dozens of games, chances of winning, winning numbers, and how to claim a prize.
The Pennsylvania Lottery remains the only state lottery to direct all proceeds to programs
that benefit older residents. Since ticket sales began in 1972, it has contributed more than $28 billion to fund property tax and rent rebates, transportation, care services, prescription assistance, and local services including senior centers and meals.
Players must be 18 or older. Do not give lottery games to children. Please play responsibly
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