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Pennsylvania Lottery observes 45th anniversary of first ticket sales

Mar 8, 2017, 8:21 am

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Pennsylvania LotteryPennsylvania Lottery: Pennsylvania Lottery observes 45th anniversary of first ticket salesRating:

Middletown, PA — The Pennsylvania Lottery Tuesday marked the 45th anniversary of its very first game, which went on sale March 7, 1972. Since then, the Lottery has paid nearly $45 billion in prizes and generated approximately $27 billion to benefit older Pennsylvanians.

"The Pennsylvania Lottery is proud of the role it has played in helping older Pennsylvanians to lead healthier lives over the past four and a half decades," said Executive Director Drew Svitko. "Without the support of Lottery players, none of this would have been possible."

The Pennsylvania Lottery's first game was a 50-cent ticket with weekly drawings, the first of which was held on March 15, 1972. The game offered a $50,000 top prize and periodic drawings for $1 million prizes. The first $1 game, Lucky 7, went on sale in November of that year and also featured a weekly drawing.

The Lottery's first televised Millionaire Drawing was conducted in March 1975. The first scratch-off game ("Instant Lottery") was introduced two months later. Nightly televised drawing shows came along on March 1, 1977, with the debut of The Daily Number, the first of the Lottery's numbers games. Today, the game is named PICK 3.

"From humble beginnings, the Pennsylvania Lottery has grown to offer a wide variety of in-state and multi-state draw games, scratch-off instant games, and we recently introduced Fast Play games," Svitko added. "In our last fiscal year, we achieved record sales of over $4.13 billion, from which we generated more than $1.12 billion to benefit older Pennsylvanians and paid more than $2.63 billion in prizes — which were also new records."

When the Pennsylvania Lottery first launched, players had to read a newspaper to find that week's winning numbers. Today, players can immediately learn if their ticket is a winner by using the ticket checker feature on the Lottery's official mobile app. They can also scan their tickets using a scanners found at Lottery retailers, check drawing results listed at Lottery Post's Pennsylvania Lottery Results page or use palottery.com (launched in 1998), and watch the nightly televised drawing show.

Today, Pennsylvania Lottery games are sold through a statewide network of nearly 9,200 retail locations. In addition to at-counter sales, may stores also offer touch-screen, self-service vending terminals or instant ticket vending machines. The Pennsylvania Lottery launched self-service instant game sales in 1993. In 2004, the Pennsylvania Lottery became the first state to introduce self-service units that sell both instant and terminal-based games.

Players looking for the nearest of those lottery retailers can use the Lottery Places mobile app, available on iOS, Android, and Windows devices.

"I want to thank our dedicated retailer partners for contributing, every day, to the Lottery's continuing success," Svitko said. "A number of retailers have been with us since the very first day of sales — and they've grown right along with us."

The Lottery originally was created to support 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.

"Some of the people who were among our first 18-year-old players in 1972 may now be eligible to enjoy Lottery-funded benefit programs," Svitko said. "We're proud to be a Keystone state institution that has served generations of Pennsylvanians."

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7 comments. Last comment 4 years ago by Tatototman65.
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Raven62's avatar - binary
New Jersey
United States
Member #17842
June 28, 2005
130501 Posts

Happy Anniversary to the Keystone State!

A mind once stretched by a new idea never returns to its original dimensions!

Catch-22: A dilemma or difficult circumstance from which there is no escape because of mutually conflicting or dependent conditions.

Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges: When the republic is at its most corrupt the laws are most numerous.

    Groppo's avatar - cat anm.gif

    United States
    Member #162626
    January 7, 2015
    778 Posts


    Yes. I know a small portion of the state - its decent/friendly people and country sides
    which make for lovely rides, in the Spring and Summer.



    (for the rest of the year, it's as depressing as any over-cast, drizzly, snowy 'east coast' state.)

    • Don't chase the numbers you play.
    • Play only numbers you've already played, plus however many random picks.
    • But, ALWAYS the regular numbers you play.  This will make you a winner, not a chaser.
               (so far, though, I've yet to win any significant lotto prize)
    • Oh, but always know where your tickets are, as well as your ticket's deadline.
      rcbbuckeye's avatar - Lottery-062.jpg
      United States
      Member #55887
      October 23, 2007
      10384 Posts

      Love it in the fall. Used to go deer hunting near Tionesta in the Allegheny Mountains.



        music*'s avatar - DiscoBallGlowing
        USN United States Navy
        Fresno, California
        United States
        Member #157851
        August 2, 2014
        3959 Posts

         Congratulations to all Pennsylvanians for reaching this 45th milestone!Shocked

         "We are all in this together!" 

          zephbe's avatar - animal butterfly.jpg
          South Carolina
          United States
          Member #77165
          July 15, 2009
          897 Posts


          Every champion was once a contender who refused to give up.-Rocky Balboa

          “Don’t let someone who gave up on their dreams talk you out of going after yours.” – Zig Ziglar

            kreative1's avatar - flower2
            NE PA
            United States
            Member #127834
            May 10, 2012
            1393 Posts

            I'm shocked it hasn't been longer but I'm glad I have been able to help support what the money goes towards.

            Embarassed lol

            Eve front pairs due for str8
            doubles overdue

              Tatototman65's avatar - Lottery-009.jpg

              United States
              Member #138725
              February 4, 2013
              2971 Posts

              Happy Anniversary!


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