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History

Since selling its first ticket in March 1972, the Massachusetts State Lottery has generated $90.7 billion in sales, awarded $62.1 billion in prizes, returned $19.7 billion in net profit to the Commonwealth for unrestricted local aid available to cities and towns and paid $5.1 billion in commissions and bonuses to its statewide network of retailers. Over the last 40 years, Massachusetts has grown to become one of the most successful lotteries in the nation and adapted to the ever-changing marketplace to provide innovative and exciting games to its players.

1971

Legislation to create a state lottery in Massachusetts is enacted to provide a source of local aid revenue for the 351 cities and towns of the Commonwealth.

1972

The Lottery sells its first-ever ticket. “The Game,” a weekly draw game, holds its first drawing on April 6, 1972 at Faneuil Hall in Boston. Seven people win $50,000.

1973

The legislature transferred supervision of Bingo (Beano) from the Department of Public Safety to the State Lottery Commission. This Division later became known as Charitable Gaming.

1974

Massachusetts becomes the first state to sell Instant Tickets as an alternative to the weekly jackpot game.

1976

The Numbers Game is introduced.

1982

Megabucks is introduced.

1987

Mass Millions is introduced.

1991

Mass Cash is introduced.

1992

The Lottery marks its 20th anniversary with an outdoor celebration at Faneuil Hall, where the first-ever drawing took place.

1993

KENO is introduced.

1996

Massachusetts joins five other states (Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan and Virginia) to create a multi-state lottery game called “The Big Game.”

1999

Maria Grasso, a live-in babysitter from Boston’s Beacon Hill neighborhood wins a $197 million jackpot playing the multi-state The Big Game. It is the largest jackpot in state history and the second-largest in national history.

2000

The Big Game expands to include 10 states and is renamed “Mega Millions.”

2004

Geraldine Williams, a retired janitor from Lowell, wins the then second largest single-winner jackpot in North American history when she claims a $294 million Mega Millions jackpot

2004

After 17 years as a Lottery mainstay, the Mass Millions ends and CASH WinFall is introduced.

2006

The Lottery introduces the “Red Sox Instant Ticket” – the nation’s first instant game to feature a Major League Baseball team logo.

2010

Powerball is introduced in Massachusetts.

2012

Lucky For Life, a new multi-state game played in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont, is introduced. The game is drawn on Monday and Thursday evenings, replacing CASH WinFall, which ended after a seven-plus year run in market.

2013

Jackpot Poker, a new poker-themed KENO-style monitor game, is launched at more than 1,200 Lottery retailers across the state. The game, which replaces the Daily Race Game as the Lottery’s second monitor offering, offers players nine ways to win prizes of up to $25,000, as well as provide the opportunity to cash in on a growing jackpot prize.

2014

“World Class Millions,” the Lottery’s first $30 instant “scratch” ticket is introduced. With a top instant prize of $15 million, it offers the largest “scratch and win” prize in Lottery history.

First instant game

The First Instant Ticket In May 1974, Massachusetts became the first state to sell Instant Lottery Tickets as an alternative to the weekly jackpot game. “The Instant Game” was the first instant ticket, with a top instant prize of $10,000. There were also three monthly drawings in the Instant Game, for $100,000 and $1,000/year for life.

A more detailed history

The following document contains details on Lottery games, sales and historical events that have happened over the past 40+ years. It is very helpful for students doing research projects or for players that want to learn more about the Lottery.

Download the Infopack

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Visiting & Tour Policy

Subject to approval by the Executive Director, the Lottery may allow for certain members of the public to visit and tour its operations.

The following document outlines the Lottery's Visitor and Tour Policy.

Download the Visitor and Tour Policy