About the Missouri Lottery
Missouri lottery players have never been too far away from a stroke of good fortune. Just one month after Jackpot '86(the first Missouri lottery game) was introduced on January 20, 1986; one lucky player won $2.1 million. This win was the lottery's first jackpot and subsequently made Johnnie Magerl, a retired butcher from Kansas City, the first MO Lottery millionaire.
This was just the beginning as hundreds more MO jackpot winning tickets have been sold. In 2011, more than 300 Missouri lottery tickets sold that year were worth more than $1 million. These jackpots have added up to more than $3 billion in total and meant that Missouri lottery players always keep an eye out for the winning numbers.
However, of all these wins, none have been quite as large as the one that went to Chris Shaw, a store clerk from Marshall. Shaw won a $258 million Powerball prize in 2010 and became the winner of the 10th largest Powerball jackpot ever at the time. Before his win, Shaw had just $28.96 in his bank account and was three weeks in to his new job as a store clerk.
Powerball Missouri has always been popular with lottery players in the Show-Me State since it replaced Lotto America on April 19, 1992. But it wasn't until almost 20 years later that Missouri Mega Millions tickets went on sale on January 31, 2010. These are the only multi-state lotteries available in Missouri, but there are a further six single state lotteries available only to MO lottery players.
Of these, the biggest is the Missouri Lotto, which requires players to pick six numbers in order to stand a chance of winning the $1 million minimum jackpot. Drawings take place every Saturday and Wednesday at 8.59 p.m. with an average of 14,335 winning tickets every time. MO Lotto has created more than 200 jackpot winners since the game began and has an average jackpot amount of $3.1 million.
Since its inception in 1986, the Missouri Lottery has grown and improved considerably. Maximum prize payouts have increased from 45%, up to an average of 69% of sales, while the percentage of sales used to run the lottery has dropped from 14% to just 3.8%. This means bigger prizes and more money to give to public education.
MO lottery proceeds help to finance a number of education programs including the Foundation Program, A+ Scholarships and the University of Missouri. Overall, more than $3.8 billion has been donated.
Many lotteries take part in some form of advertising in order to boost their sales. Some states have used celebrities in TV adverts or comical sketches. However, the Missouri lottery took a different approach to advertising in 1998 by creating a mythical city called Luckytown. Slogans such as: "Your ticket to Luckytown" were used by MO Lottery in a campaign that was staged in TV and print adverts. Luckytown was described as "everywhere and nowhere, and you get there by playing the lottery", apparently the weather is always 72 degrees and sunny, and unsurprisingly the residents have incredible luck.