In November 1992, 63 percent of Nebraska voters approved a constitutional amendment authorizing a state lottery. Legislation creating the Nebraska Lottery was passed in February 1993, and ticket sales began on September 11 of that year. The first game was Nebraska Match 3, a $1 scratch ticket.
Powerball was the Lottery’s first draw game, with sales beginning in July 1994. It was immediate success, boosted by having a local jackpot winner just nine days after launch.
In addition to Powerball, the Nebraska Lottery’s current lineup of draw games includes Mega Millions, 2by2, Nebraska Pick 5, Nebraska Pick 3 and MyDaY, a lotto-style game based on dates rather than straight numbers.
The original enabling legislation divided Lottery proceeds between the Education Innovation Fund, the Nebraska Environmental Trust Fund and the Compulsive Gamblers Assistance Fund.
In 2004, voters approved an amendment that established a new distribution formula for lottery beneficiaries:
- Education, 44.5 percent, as directed by the legislature; currently allocated between the Education Innovation Fund and the Nebraska Opportunity Grand Fund.
- Nebraska Environmental Trust Fund, 44.5 percent.
- Nebraska State Fair, 10 percent.
- Compulsive Gamblers Assistance Fund, one percent, plus the first $500,000 in fund proceeds each fiscal year.
Year established: 1993
Products offered: Instant games, Powerball, Mega Millions, Nebraska Pick 5 (matrix: 5/38), 2by2, Nebraska Pick 3, and MyDaY.
Education Innovation Fund (19.75%), Nebraska Environmental Trust Fund (44.5%), Nebraska Scholarship Fund (24.75%), State Fair Support and Improvement Fund (10%), Compulsive Gamblers Assistance Fund ($500,000+1%)