North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries Where the Money Goes

History of North American Lotteries

  • 1964
    The first modern lottery in the United States was launched with the debut of the New Hampshire Sweepstakes, now known as the New Hampshire Lottery. The original game was based on the results of a horse race, and the first tickets were sold March 12, 1964
  • 1970
    The first lottery tickets are sold in Canada as lotteries in Quebec and Manitoba open for business.
  • 1973
    Scientific Games is founded with an algorithmic solution that leads the way for the production and sale of world's first secure instant lottery game.
  • 1974
    The Massachusetts Lottery becomes the first lottery in the world to launch that secure instant scratch game. The Lottery would become an industry leader in the instant ticket business.
  • 1975
    The New Jersey Lottery introduces the first computerized numbers game in the U.S.
  • 1976
    Gaming Dimensions Inc. was founded in Providence, R.I., and renamed GTECH Corp. when the company went public in 1983.
  • 1978
    Massachusetts and New York launch the first lotto games in the U.S. as offline products.
  • 1982
    The Arizona Lottery launches Scientific Games' automated Tel-Sell marketing system, an innovation that continues to underscore the importance of retail distribution to sales growth.
  • 1982
    Canada's Interprovincial Lottery Corporation and GTECH launch LOTTO 6/49, the world's first multi-jurisdiction lotto game.
  • 1982
    Pollard Banknote, which traces its roots as a commercial printer back to the early 1900s, enters the secure lottery ticket printing business by producing two instant tickets for Ontario.
  • 1982
    GTECH introduces the first made-for-lottery retail terminal. The company also launches the Quick Pick option for numbers games, which today accounts for more than 35 percent of the world's lottery purchases.
  • 1985
    The first lottery-specific communication systems, using radio technology, are developed by GTECH.
  • 1985
    The New York Lottery and Scientific Games launch the industry's first Cooperative Services Program, an integrated category management program that went on to drive sales performance for some of the world's leading lotteries.
  • 1985
    Tri-State Megabucks is the first multi-state lottery in the U.S., with sales in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. The games were promoted at retail with Scientific Games' brand new centrally-controlled retail communications platform.
  • 1986
    Pollard Banknote is the first ticket printer to implement the secure placement of the validation number within the game area, replacing the use of a separate Void if Removed number box. This innovative approach allowed for more space on the ticket for graphic detail and game areas.
  • 1986
    Developed by Scientific Games, the industry's first touchscreen, self-service lottery retail kiosk sells both instant and terminal-based games to Iowa Lottery players.
  • 1987
    The Multi-State Lottery Association is formed with six initial members; its first game, Lotto*America, was introduced the next year. That game was replaced with Powerball in 1992, forever changing the concept of jackpot games.
  • 1987
    The Iowa Lottery is the first American lottery to sell pulltab tickets.
  • 1987
    The Vermont Lottery is the first to introduce instant tickets with bar codes, developed by Scientific Games.
  • 1988
    Pollard Banknote introduces secure, metalized pouches for instant tickets, which lotteries can use to put together a group of tickets into a high-value package with enhanced graphics. Pouches remain particularly popular in Canada.
  • 1989
    South Dakota is the first lottery to introduce video lottery terminals (VLTs) at bars and clubs
  • 1990
    West Virginia begins a limited test of VLTs at Mountaineer Park, the first VLTs located in quantity at a racetrack.
  • 1990
    Pollard Banknote is the first to offer secure and recyclable card stock, the result of a proprietary process that utilized a combination of various solvent-and water-resistant coatings to achieve required opacity on conventional card stock.
  • 1990
    Sports betting is introduced in Canada by the Western Canada Lottery Corp. and Loto-Quebec.
  • 1990
    Canada's first video lottery terminals are placed in service by the Atlantic Lottery Corp. in New Brunswick and Newfoundland & Labrador.
  • 1991
    The Oregon Lottery and GTECH introduce Club Keno, the first such game in the country.
  • 1991
    The Virginia Lottery begins the first large-scale installation of instant ticket vending machines.
  • 1991
    The Atlantic Lottery Corp. and Scientific Games introduce the industry's first Bingo scratch game with a player marking system. Printed on an oversized ticket with a complex play style and offered at a higher price point, this launches the extended play product category for lotteries.
  • 1992
    The Texas Lottery launches with the industry's first satellite communications network for retail lottery terminals, provided by GTECH.
  • 1992
    Pollard Banknote pioneers a patented translucent marking system for instant tickets. This concept becomes the lottery industry standard for extended play games.
  • 1992
    With its debut, Texas also introduced a new lottery model, outsourcing its marketing and sales functions to a private company (GTECH). It would be almost two decades before other lotteries followed a similar path of significant outsourcing (Illinois, Indiana and New Jersey).
  • 1993
    Loto-Quebec becomes the first North American lottery operator to open a casino. By 2014, 13 lottery organizations in the U.S. and Canada were involved in casino-style gaming in some fashion.
  • 1995
    The Maine Lottery is the first to use Scientific Games' new one-step, automated keyless game validation process.
  • 1996
    The Big Game is introduced by several large states in order to offer mega-jackpots on the order of Powerball. It became Mega Millions in 2002, and that game currently holds the record for the world's largest lotto jackpot at $656 million.
  • 1996
    Scientific Games develops technology that offers an additional level of game security by concealing validation bar codes under the scratch-off coating.
  • 1998
    The New Mexico Lottery is the first to utilize a 100 percent wireless lottery network, created by GTECH.
  • 2000
    The Iowa Lottery is the first American lottery to offer a computer-based game in conjunction with a scratch ticket; the CD-ROM game was developed by Ingenio. Four years later, the New Jersey Lottery and Scientific Games introduced Cyber Slingo®, the first scratch game in the U.S. to offer an Internet play component.
  • 2000
    GTECH develops ES-VIDEO, the first VLT central system capable of downloading.
  • 2002
    European-based INTRALOT enters North American lottery systems market by establishing INTRALOT Inc, in Duluth, Ga. It allows three strong companies to serve the American market, fostering competition and innovation.
  • 2003
    Pollard Banknote introduces the PlayBook®, which provides enhanced extended play opportunities with multiple different game formats within a single book.
  • 2004
    The Atlantic Lottery Corp. and the British Columbia Lottery Corp. are the first lotteries in North America to offer Internet sales.
  • 2004
    GTECH introduces lottery digital signage, leveraging existing lottery infrastructure to deliver marketing information and keno game content to retailers. Fully integrated digital signage rapidly became an industry standard.
  • 2006
    Pollard Banknote patents its Scratch FX® technology. To this day, all ticket vendors continue to develop new printing technologies and enhancements that attract players to the games.
  • 2006
    Scientific Games launches the industry's first retail development program, which helps retailers increase lottery game sales with best practices and merchandising programs.
  • 2006
    The Multi-State Lottery Association and SPIELO (a division of GTECH) launch the first multi-state video lottery progressive in Delaware, Rhode Island and West Virginia.
  • 2007
    West Virginia becomes the first U.S. lottery to introduce table games in addition to video lottery terminals.
  • 2007
    Scientific Games develops the lottery industry's first linked multi-state instant game, Deal or No Deal™, which involves 21 states and offers lotteries exclusive, one-of-a-kind prizes and marketing packages. The winners appeared on national television two years later.
  • 2007
    The Idaho Lottery and INTRALOT begin an industry-first VIP Club to award players points at the point-of-purchase terminal.
  • 2010
    North America's first regulated online poker network, The Canadian Poker Network, is launched by Loto-Quebec and GTECH. The British Columbia Lottery Corporation joined the CPN the next year.
  • 2010
    For the first time, American lotteries could sell both Powerball and Mega Millions tickets, a landmark achievement in the industry.
  • 2011
    Lotteries begin to embrace the mobile world, as the Iowa Lottery and Scientific Games launch the industry's first iPhone® mobile app that checks tickets and creates electronic bet slip for use at retail.
  • 2011
    Scientific Games develops a Wheel of Fortune® linked instant game with the industry's first tie-in to a Facebook social game.
  • 2011
    In another mobile-based development, Pollard Banknote develops a system for using QR codes on instant tickets that can be scanned by smartphones.
  • 2012
    Illinois becomes the first American lottery to offer regular ticket sales via the Internet with a system developed by GTECH. A few other lotteries had already been offering subscription services through the Web.
  • 2012
    The New Mexico Lottery's version of terminal-based instant- win games, Quicksters, are the first such games to be sold through self-service vending machines, utilizing INTRALOT's WinStation.
  • 2012
    The Minnesota Lottery launched a combined Linq3 and Scientific Games solution to become the first lottery to sell tickets at gas pumps and ATMs.
  • 2013
    The California Lottery introduces the first second chance solution to include both instants and terminal-based games.
  • 2013
    Scientific Games creates the industry's first multi-state linked instant game, MONOPOLY™ Jackpot, with second-chance opportunities to win progressive jackpots of up to $1 million or more.
  • 2013
    The Georgia Lottery is the first American lottery to offer keno games via the Internet.
  • 2013
    The DC Lottery and INTRALOT launch innovative Tap and Play games, the first interactive lottery games played on a player-operated retail lottery terminal.
  • 2013
    The Delaware Lottery is the first American operator of any kind to introduce casino-style Internet gaming, using a system developed by Scientific Games and 888 Holdings.
  • 2014
    The Illinois Lottery, using GTECH technology, launches America's first lottery app that allows players to purchase tickets using their mobile phones.
  • 2014
    The Minnesota Lottery in conjunction with technology partner Scientific Games becomes the first American lottery to sell eInstant games.
  • 2016
    The world record for a lottery jackpot fell dramatically when the Powerball jackpot reached an epic $1.58 billion on January 13, 2016. It was the first time any lotto game offered a prize of more than one billion dollars. The pot of gold was split between winners in California, Florida and Tennessee.
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