Pennsylvania Lottery celebrates 47 years since first drawing |

Pennsylvania Lottery celebrates 47 years since first drawing

Tom Davidson

It started as a 50-cent weekly game offering a chance at a $50,000 top prize, with occasional chances to become a millionaire.

Forty-seven years since the first Pennsylvania Lottery drawing was held, the Lottery pays out billions each year and rakes in billions more, with proceeds benefiting older Pennsylvanians, according to a Pennsylvania Lottery news release.

“The Pennsylvania Lottery is proud to have spent the last 47 years playing a vital role in helping generate funds for our older residents,” said Lottery Executive Director Drew Svitko. “We are hard at work to ensure that the Lottery continues to fund the essential senior programs that help older Pennsylvanians lead healthier lives.”

The first drawing took place on March 15, 1972, and the lottery has evolved since.

Other milestones include:

  • The first $1 game, Lucky 7, went on sale in November 1972 and also featured a weekly drawing.
  • The Lottery’s first televised Millionaire Drawing was conducted in March 1975 and the first scratch-off game was introduced that May 1975.
  • The first nightly televised drawing shows started 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.

Annual sales now are more than $4.2 billion and it paid a record of more than $2.7 billion in prizes during the last fiscal year and it generated more than $1 billion to benefit older Pennsylvanians for the seventh consecutive year.

Overall, in 47 years, the lottery has paid more than $50 billion in prizes and generated more than $29 billion to benefit older Pennsylvanians, according to a news release

“We’re grateful for the support of our players, business partners and the entire Lottery team,” Svitko said. “We’re working every day to build a strong foundation for the future and develop new, innovative products that will help us remain competitive in a rapidly-changing business environment.”

Tom Davidson is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tom at 724-226-4715, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: News | Pennsylvania
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