About the Kentucky Lottery
Kentucky lottery tickets first went on sale on April 4, 1989, with more than $5 million of KY lotto tickets being sold on the first day. One year on and the lottery had sold an impressive $266 million in tickets, thanks to games such as Lotto Kentucky, Kentucky Derby Dreamstakes and Beginner's Luck.
The Beitel Criterion machine, which was used for some of these early lottery games, was donated to the Kentucky Historical Society in 2009. This lottery machine was used for the first ever 20th century legal lottery drawing in Kentucky and continued to be used for four more years, until 1993. During this time, players were able to watch the Kentucky winning numbers being drawn on TV, with winning results drawn by the machine rewarding lucky players with more than $350 million in prizes.
Since the Beitel Criterion was retired, many more drawing machines have been used for a variety of Kentucky lottery games. Currently, there are around ten games available in the state, including 5 Card Cash and Kentucky Cashball. US-wide lotteries such as Mega Millions, Powerball and Decades of Dollars are also available to KY lotto players, with jackpots regularly reaching more than $100 million. March 2015 saw the launch of Lucky For Life; a multi-state draw game where players can win lifetime prizes.
The Kentucky lottery was the first in the United States to be operated by a corporation, in the form of the Kentucky Lottery Corporation (KLC). The KLC has played a major part in funding various state schemes, with 29.6% of total sales revenue going to the commonwealth. In 2010, sales reached $772.5 million, meaning that $229 million went to the Kentucky state treasury. These funds have been used for a number of programs, including the College Access Program, Kentucky's Early Childhood Fund and Affordable Housing Trust Funds.
While many lottery players are very specific about which numbers they select, in Kentucky they like to do things differently. Just ask Rob Anderson of Georgetown, about his lucky numbers and he'll tell you that they don't mean anything. One Christmas Eve, Anderson was planning to buy three single Powerball tickets to use as stocking fillers, but when he purchased the tickets at a Pro Travel Marathon store he noticed that the store clerk had made a mistake.
Anderson ended up with a three line Powerball ticket, as well as three single line tickets, but decided to keep all of them. After the December 26 Powerball drawing, Anderson checked his usual numbers to see that he'd not got lucky. However, Anderson then remembered the three line ticket he'd got by mistake and after checking the winning numbers, realised that he'd won a $128,600,000 jackpot. Now that's one lucky mistake!