The Massachusetts State Lottery was established by the legislature in 1971 in response to the need for revenues for the 351 cities and towns of the Commonwealth. Sales began on March 22, 1972, with a weekly passive game simply called The Game. The first drawing was held on April 6.
Two years later, the Lottery introduced the industry’s first instant scratch ticket with a game called, not surprisingly, The Instant Game. The revolutionary new product transformed the entire lottery industry.
The weekly and instant games were sold side by side until 1976, when they were joined by the Daily Numbers Game, the Lottery’s first regular draw game. A short-lived lotto game, the first of its kind in the country, debuted in 1978, but was pulled after 13 weeks due to sluggish sales and low jackpots. The advent of a computerized system in 1981 changed everything, and a new lotto, Megabucks, was launched in 1982; a version of the game is still in the product mix today.
Currently, the Massachusetts Lottery draw game lineup includes Powerball, Mega Millions, Megabucks Doubler, Daily Numbers, Mass Cash and the New England regional game Lucky for Life. Also part of the mix are pulltabs and the monitor games Keno and Daily Race Game. But the Lottery is known for its highly successful instant games, which have set the bar for the entire industry.
Proceeds from the Lottery are allocated to the cities and towns of the Commonwealth – the Lottery is the single largest source of unrestricted local aid.
Year established: 1972
Instant games, 3-digit game, 4-digit game, Keno, Cash lotto (Mass Cash /matrix: 5/35), pull tabs, Lucky For Life (matrix: 5/40 & 1/21); Megabucks Doubler (matrix: 6/49), Mega Millions (5/56 & 1/46), Powerball (matrix:5/59 & 1/35).
Beneficiaries: Cities & towns, compulsive gambling, arts council, general fund.