Massachusetts Lottery celebrates 50th anniversary of its first-ever drawing

Apr 6, 2022, 12:24 pm (4 comments)

Massachusetts Lottery

Lottery releases photo commemorating first draw results in the 70's

By Kate Northrop

Today is a memorable day for the Massachusetts Lottery, which is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first lottery drawing in state history.

50 years ago today, the Massachusetts Lottery held its first-ever drawing in its history at Faneuil Hall in Boston, where seven lucky winners were each awarded one the state's first $50,000 top prizes.

"Today is a special day in the Lottery's history," State Treasurer and Massachusetts State Lottery Commission Chair Deborah B. Goldberg said in a press release. "Our first drawing was just the beginning of 50 Years of Winning, and our very first top prize winner was one of many who have been able to turn their Lottery win into lasting memories for their families."

The drawing took place on the morning of April 6, 1972, at which 1971 Miss Massachusetts Deborah Ann O'Brien presented the first winning numbers, 302424 (see photo below).

Donald Cosentino of Gardner, the first person to present a $50,000 winning ticket for verification, brought his ticket to Gardner City Hall later that same day. He can easily recall how the money helped improve his and his family's lives.

"We have five children, and I bought them all bicycles," Cosentino, now 87, told the Lottery. "I was a foreman at a furniture factory. We also bought a camper so that we could all go camping together. We were able to put the money to good use."

Cosentino still lives in Gardner with his wife Aline in the same house they lived in 50 years ago.

In 1972, the draw was called "The Game," where players could win $50,000 by matching all six numbers on their ticket with the numbers drawn. One play cost 50 cents, and a total of 4,783,000 million tickets were sold across the state by more than 3,000 participating sellers.

In addition to the $50,000 top prize, The Game also offered other prize tiers, at which there were several other winners in the first draw. 38 players won $2,500, 467 won $250, and 4,332 won $25. Not only that, but all the cash prize winners and 43,076 additional ticket holders were eligible for a drawing for $1 million held the following month, the Lottery said.

Things have only been looking up for the Massachusetts Lottery since selling its first ticket on March 22, 1972. 50 years later, the Lottery has generated over $137 billion in revenues, awarded over $96 billion in prizes, and returned over $30 billion to the state. The Lottery has also paid out a grand total of $7.8 billion in commissions and bonuses to its retailers.

"The Lottery will continue to celebrate our 50th over the course of the year with a series of promotions and activities," Lottery Interim Executive Director Mark William Bracken said. "We are excited to show our appreciation for the customers, retailers, communities and employees who are all a part of our success story."

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

Lottery Post Staff


sully16's avatarsully16

Awesome story, congrats to all the pioneer winners and Happy Anniversary Massachusetts. Party

rdgrnr's avatarrdgrnr

Nice story, and Mr. Cosentino sounds like a nice guy.

But in the same house after 50 years? Whoa. I don't think I could do that. I gotta be moving all the time.


My hat don't hang on the same nail too long.

My ears can't stand to hear the same old song

And I don't leave the highway long enough

To bog down in the mud

I got ramblin' fever in my blood

Sometimes I like to bed down on a sofa

And let some pretty lady rub my back

Spend the early morning drinking coffee

Talkin' about when I'll be comin' back

Cuz I don't let no woman tie me down

And I'll never get too old to get around

I wanna die along the highway and rot away

Like some old high-line pole.

Restless Ramblin' Fever in my soul.

(Thanks Merle)   

Mata Garbo

50 years later.......137 billion in revenue. That is about 2.7 billion a year. Hard to believe there are still some idiot leaders in some states who are still talking against state lotteries. They say it sends the wrong message. I would love to send them a 

Mail For YouHit With Stick

Spark Plugg's avatarSpark Plugg

Happy Anniversary! Now please bring a QUAD! It's been since August 23, 2019! Thanks In Advance 😊

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