2016-01-20 10:53:11.507

Missouri Lottery Celebrates 30 Winning Years

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What were you doing in January 1986? Many Missourians were trying their luck with the Missouri Lottery for the first time by scratching off tickets from the first Scratchers game, “Jackpot ’86.” Fast forward 30 years and the Lottery is now celebrating more than $5.2 billion in profits to state and public education, more than $11.3 billion in prizes to players and retail commissions exceeding $1.1 billion.

“There’s no doubt, the Missouri Lottery has made a huge impact on the state of Missouri,” said May Scheve Reardon, executive director for the Missouri Lottery. “Not only has it helped provide vital funding to public education, but it’s also impacted many Missouri businesses and winners.”

To celebrate the 30-year milestone, the Missouri Lottery is launching its first $30 Scratchers ticket, called “$300,000,000 Golden Ticket.” The game offers the most prizes ever, include 15 prizes between $1 million and $10 million, which can be won instantly. In addition, three more $1 million prizes, along with several prizes of $10,000, $1,000 and $500, will be awarded through second-chance drawings during the year.

“The Lottery has truly evolved into a key part of Missouri’s fabric,” Reardon said. “Whether it is providing funding for programs like A+, helping business owners meet their bottom line, supporting local community events or making someone a millionaire, it has made a lot of dreams come true.”

Reardon noted that the Lottery has gone from first-year sales of $206.9 million to more than $1.15 billion annually, and proceeds of $80 million to an all-time high of $288 million. The Lottery also started with one Scratchers game and now it offers as many as 40 different games at one time and nine Draw Games. Prizes have gone from a maximum of a few million to more than half a billion.

As a self-sustaining agency, the Lottery has also grown more efficient.

“Our operating costs are one of the lowest in the industry at 4.4 percent,” Reardon said. “In the early days, it was as high as 14 percent.”

Since 1986, many other changes have been made to benefit players, such as being able to cash tickets at any Lottery retail location, a cash option on jackpot prizes, more drawings, as well as additional ways to buy tickets and enter promotions.

“Not to mention all the technological advancements that have happened in the last 30 years, like websites, mobile apps, loyalty programs, ticket vending machines and Check-A-Ticket machines,” Reardon said.

“But the Lottery would not have been successful without the support of so many Missourians,” Reardon said. “We are so grateful to the 4,700 businesses in our retail network, our vendors, legislators, Lottery commissioners and employees and, of course, the players. They all play a major role in helping the Lottery Play It Forward for public education.

“We expect the next 30 years to be even more beneficial and fun,” she said. “It’s why the Lottery was created – to raise money for public education.”


Missouri Lottery Quick Facts (through FY15)

• More than $18.5 billion in ticket sales;
• More than $5.2 billion in proceeds to the state, including public education;
• More than $11.3 billion in prizes paid to players;
• More than $1.1 billion to retailers in commissions and incentives;
• 444 tickets sold worth $1 million to $293.7 million.


Missouri Lottery Historical Comparison


THEN - 1986


NOW - 2016

Retailers sold only one instant game (at any one time) and one Numbers Game (Missouri Lotto).


Retailers sell nine Numbers Games and approximately 40 Scratchers tickets per year (several sold simultaneously - more than 1,100 introduced to date).

Players had to redeem Scratchers at the location where purchased.


Players can redeem Scratchers at any Missouri Lottery retailer.

Scratchers tickets cost $1.


Scratchers tickets cost $1, $2, $3, $5, $10, $20 and $30.

Players could only buy Scratchers tickets at a retail counter.


Players can buy Scratchers tickets from retail counters, vending machines, some gas pumps and some ATMs.

Players had to have retailers check tickets at the terminal.


Players can check tickets themselves at Check-A-Ticket devices.

All proceeds were sent to the state’s General Revenue Fund.  The fiscal year 1987 transfer was more than $80 million.


All proceeds are sent to public education.  The fiscal year 2015 transfer was more than $270.7 million.

Administrative costs were 14 percent of sales.


Administrative costs are 4.4 percent of sales.

Sales were $206.9 million annually.


Sales are more than $1.1 billion annually.

Prizes are restricted to 45 percent of sales.


There are no restrictions; Scratchers prize payouts average 70 percent of sales.

The Lottery had one daily game and held only one daily drawing.


The Lottery has three daily games and holds drawings twice a day, along with Club Keno drawings every four minutes.

Lottery numbers were drawn with ball machines.


Lottery numbers are drawn by computer.

Jackpots reached as high as $5.2 million.


Jackpots have reached as high as $1.5 billion.

Jackpots were paid only as annuitized prizes.


Jackpot winners can receive their prize as an annuity or as one cash payment.

Winners had 365 days to claim prizes.


Winners have 180 days to claim prizes.

Players received information from retailers and Lottery offices.


Players can now obtain extensive information from the Lottery’s website, mobile app and social media sites, in addition to retail locations and Lottery offices.

Players entered second-chance drawings at retail locations, through the mail and at Lottery offices.


Players can enter second-chance drawings on-line, saving players thousands of dollars in time and postage. They also earn points to be redeemed for prizes through the My Lottery® Players Club.


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Players must be 18 years or older to purchase Missouri Lottery tickets.

*In the event of a discrepancy, official winning numbers prevail over any numbers posted on this website.