State lottery honors retired community heroes who volunteer amidst the COVID-19 crisis
By Kate Northrop
This year, the Hoosier Lottery continues its celebration of the 30th anniversary since its first ticket went on sale October 13, 1989.
The celebration will conclude at the Indiana State Fair this August, assuming there are no scheduling changes due to COVID-19.
In the time since that first ticket was sold in October 1989, the Hoosier Lottery amassed a network of over 4,300 retailers, paid out $13.9 billion to winners, and transferred $6 billion to the state. $887.6 million contributed to the Teachers' Retirement Fund while $699.7 million went to local police and firefighters' pensions. $4.4 billion was allocated to the Build Indiana Fund, a reserve that supports a variety of statewide technology projects, such as improving internet connectivity in local schools and libraries.
Sarah M. Taylor, the executive director of the Hoosier Lottery, emphasized the positive impact the lottery has had on the state of Indiana over the last 30 years. "We are so proud of the revenue we've generated for the State, and that our revenue is being used to support the pension plans for our retired teachers, police officers and firefighters," she said. "These dedicated Hoosiers educated our children and protected our lives and property. We hope that our support helps them enjoy their retirement for years to come."
At its inception, the Hoosier Lottery promised that the implementation of a state lottery would lower the price of license plates. Taylor was proud to note that the lottery has in fact saved motorists $4 billion over the last 30 years.
"All the money that we put in goes to offset the motor vehicle excise tax by up to 50%," she explained. "When you go get those plates, you're definitely paying less."
Taylor also credits three decades of successful operation to the lottery's adaptation and relevancy in an evolving world of technology.
"The heart of our business is security and integrity and people's belief that we're running fair games, and so technology plays a huge role in that and will in the future too."
The Hoosier Lottery currently uses computerized drawings to operate four games: Cash 5, Hoosier Lotto, Hoosier Lotto +PLUS, and Quick Draw. Cash4Life, Daily 3, Daily 4, Mega Millions, and Powerball are considered "true" lottery drawings and are run using traditional lottery ball machines.
Taylor says that the key to continuing successful operations another 30 years and beyond is to remain relevant using competitive marketing tactics. "You have to have engaging games. You have to launch new games. You have to have licensed properties like on the scratch-offs; we did a Walking Dead ticket, the Indianapolis Colts, etc. So you have to dial it up and change your games and find out what the public really wants."
To celebrate its 30th anniversary, the Hoosier Lottery launched a campaign highlighting individuals touched by the lottery, including players, retailers, employees, and others who benefit from the lottery. The goal of this campaign is to illustrate how connected Hoosiers are, whether directly or indirectly, through the Hoosier Lottery.
More recently, the Hoosier Lottery established another campaign called Hoosier Heroes — a tribute to police, firefighters, and teachers who have come out of retirement to volunteer or support their communities amidst the COVID-19 crisis.
"So many of our beneficiaries, even in their retirement years, are continuing to give back to their communities," Taylor said. "We thought, 'what a great way to collect those stories and share them.'"
If you know someone who's a Hoosier Hero or if you yourself have a story to share, you can submit it to the lottery using this form for the chance to be featured on the official state lottery website.