History of the Maine State Lottery

The idea of starting a lottery operation in Maine was first championed by Rep. Arthur Genest of Waterville. In 1973, Genest sponsored a bill to introduce a lottery in Maine. When the public was asked to vote in 1973, the answer was a resounding “yes,” and the Lottery began operations in 1974.

Governor Kenneth M. Curtis drew the first lottery numbers on June 27, 1974. The numbers were printed on large rubber balls and drawn from a gumball machine. Ivan Lazure of Lewiston was the first winner, with a $20 prize.

Profits from the Maine State Lottery are transferred to the State’s General Fund which support many programs and services for the citizens of the State of Maine.

February Christo Anton was appointed the first Director of the Maine State Lottery
June Ticket sales begin for a 50-cent weekly draw game called “Play Me”
The first draw is held on June 27, 1974
October Joseph Comeau of Bangor was the first jackpot winner for the weekly “Play Me” game with a prize of $150,000
February George Orestis was appointed the Director of the Maine State Lottery
The weekly game “Downeast Sweepstakes” begins
March Burpee Pond of Naples wins $150,000 as the first winner for the weekly game “Downeast Sweepstakes”
June The first instant ticket, the “Great Outdoors,” is released
August 2 Patricia James of Augusta was the winner of $500,000 prize from the “Great Outdoors” instant ticket
February Richard J. Carey was appointed Director of the Maine State Lottery
June “Pick 3 Daily Numbers” game debuts
August First $1,000,000 winner from the “Maine Event Game” was William Emhoff of Wellington.
April First multi-state lottery is approved among Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont to create the Tri-State Lotto Compact
Tri-State Lotto Commission consist of a 3 members; one each state. The first commission members were William Varney from Maine; John Marro from New Hampshire and Sarah Vail from Vermont
July “Pick 4 Daily Numbers” game is added
September First Tri-State “Megabucks” game ticket was sold to New Hampshire’s Governor John Sununu
Tri-State “Megabucks” starts Saturday draw with a pick 6-of-30 matrix
First Tri-State “Megabucks” jackpot winner is Richard Campbell of South Portland, Maine who wins $935,919
January Tri-State “Megabucks” game is changed from a pick 6-of-30 to a pick 6-of-36 matrix
October H. Alan Timm was appointed Director of the Maine State Lottery
June Wallace G. Soule Jr. was appointed Director of the Maine State Lottery
January Tri-State “Megabucks” game is changed from a pick 6-of-36 to a pick 6-of-40 matrix
May Tri-State “Megabucks” adds a Wednesday drawing
July Maine joins the multi-state draw game “Lotto America” with a pick 6-of-54 matrix on Wednesday and Saturday
February Peter Finlay of Cape Elizabeth was the first Maine winner for the “Lotto America” game with a winning jackpot of $3.1 million
April Tri-State “Cash 5” begins with a pick 5-of-35 matrix on Tuesdays
July Maine Legislature decides to merge the state's liquor and lottery operations into one administrative agency to be called the Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations (BABLO)
David S. Campbell was appointed first Director of BABLO
Completion of the merger takes place by combining the Liquor Commission and the Lottery Commission into a single 5 member commission whose members are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Legislature
March Maine State Lottery becomes the first lottery to print its instant tickets on completely recyclable and biodegradable paper while still meeting all established security standards
January First $2 Bingo Instant Ticket is released
June Tri-State “5 Card Cash” game begins and adds a Friday draw
April Eben B. Marsh was appointed Director of BABLO
January Outdoor Heritage Instant Ticket is released with profits dedicated to help protect Maine's environment
June Tri-State “Megabucks” adds a cash option
November First $3 Instant Ticket “Christmas Bonus” is released
March Tri-State “Megabucks” changes matrix from a pick 6-of-40 to a pick 6-of-42 and adds a bonus number
September Tri-State “WinCash” game begins
December First $5 instant ticket “Celebrate '98” is released
June Pick3/ Pick4 Daily Numbers games go to seven draws a week
September Pick 3/ Pick 4 Daily Numbers games add Front Pair/ Back Pair play option
February Tri-State “Cash Lotto” game begins
April First $10 instant ticket “$250,000 Cash Spectacular” is released
June “Pick 3/ Pick 4 Daily Numbers” games add a mid day draw
November Tri-State “Heads Or Tails” game begins with a draw 7 days a week
June Maine Lottery celebrates 30th Anniversary
July Maine joins the multi-state draw game called “Powerball”
January Dan A. Gwadosky was appointed Director of BABLO
August “Powerball” draw game is changed from pick 5 of 53 +1 of 42 to a pick 5 of 55 +1 of 42
September First $20 Instant Ticket “2,500,000 Extravaganza” is released
October First “1,000,000 Instant Winner” drawing is held
May Tri-State “Add-A-Play” game begins as the first game with an instant win feature
June Boston Red Sox Instant Ticket is released with 2nd chance drawings for game day tickets
January Tri-State “Paycheck” game begins
November First Tri-State $20 New Year Millionaire Raffle ticket is released
April $2,250,000 Extravaganza Instant Winner drawing is held
January Tri-State “Weekly Grand” game begins and offers a top jackpot of $1000 a week for 20 years
“Powerball” game changes from pick 5 of 55 + 1 of 42 to a pick 5 of 59 + 1 of 39
July Tri-State “Megabucks Plus” game begins
August Maine Lottery enters social media field with Facebook and Twitter accounts
October Maine joins the multi-state draw game called “Hot Lotto” along with 14 other states
November Pick 3 / Pick 4 Daily Numbers games add a “Single Digit” play option
May Maine joins the multi-state draw game called “Mega Millions”
June Maine State Lottery completes the transfer of a record $52.2 million to the State’s General Fund
Maine Lottery celebrates 35th Anniversary
July New England Patriots Instant Ticket is released with 2nd chance drawings for game day tickets and seasons tickets for the 2011 regular season along with instant win cash prizes
October Maine State Lottery surpasses the $1 billion mark in transfers to the State’s General Fund
October Maine releases it’s first $1,000,000 instant win on a $20 instant ticket game called “Maine Millionaire”
February Gerald T. Reid appointed Director, Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages & Lottery Operations
March Maine joins New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut in launching the first New England Regional game called “Lucky for Life”. Top prize is a $1,000 a day for life.
Largest Mega Millions jackpot of $656 million hit
May Tri-State Lotto launches new draw game called "Gimme 5" with top prize of $100,000
Largest Powerball jackpot of $590.5 million hit
October "Mega Millions" game changes from pick 1 of 56+1 to 46 to pick 5 of 75+1 of 15
January Power Play added to Powerball giving players a chance to multiply their winnings up to five times
May Gregg Mineo appointed Director, Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages & Lottery Operations
June Maine Lottery celebrates 40 years of providing profits for the State of Maine
August New logo is introduced
October Maine Lottery celebrates 40th Anniversary event
Maine introduces Monopoly Millionaires' Club, a multi-state lottery game based on the Monopoly board game
December Maine introduces $40,000,000 FORTUNE, the first $25 instant ticket in the state
January Lucky for Life expands to include 14 states and undergoes a game change from pick 5 of 43 + 1 of 43 to 5 of 48 + 1 of 18
April The Boston Red Sox⊗ instant ticket now features the image of David Ortiz. Maine is the first lottery in the nation with the image of a current sports athlete on an instant ticket
May $2,000,000 Powerball ticket sold in Bath
June Lottery celebrates record year with a contribution of $54 million to the Maine General Fund on total sales of $253 million. $165.1 million is awarded in winnings to players, and $16.7 million is paid to retailers in commissions. In addition, $647,458 is transferred to the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund
July $3,000,000 Mega Millions ticket sold in Woolwich
Lucky for Life has a $25,000 A Year for Life ticket sold in Portland