About the New Jersey Lottery
The New Jersey Lottery's slogan reads: 'Give Your Dreams a Chance'. While this might sound a bit corny, Mega Millions, Powerball and the New Jersey Pick 6 mean that you certainly have plenty chances to win a multi-million dollar NJ jackpot – regardless of what you dream about!
The New Jersey lottery is owned and administered by the government of New Jersey (NJ) and is one of the oldest lotteries in the United States. The first person to buy a New Jersey lottery ticket was state Governor William T. Cahill on December 16, 1970. This followed residents approving a state lottery with one of the largest majority votes in the New Jersey's history, with 81.5% of balloters voting in favour of offering lotto games.
It wasn't long until the first millionaire drawing was made when Edward and Kathleen Henry were the lucky holders of the winning numbers. Since then, many more have followed, with the 100th millionaire being made after having winning NJ lottery results in May 1983. At its inception, the New Jersey lottery offered just one weekly drawing. However, there are now eight separate lotteries available in the state, including the nationwide Powerball and Mega Millions lotteries. Excluding multi-state games, the biggest lottery available in New Jersey is the Pick 6 Lotto, which is drawn on Mondays. In addition to this, there's also 5 Card Cash, the Jersey Cash 5 XTRA and the Pick 4 and Pick 3 lotteries, which have midday and evening drawings every day.
Jersey Cash 5 recently got upgraded and now has an optional add-on called XTRA. Starting from October 3rd, 2016, players have the opportunity to increase their non-jackpot prizes by adding XTRA to their Jersey Cash 5 ticket for an additional $1.
While there has always been a steady supply of large New Jersey jackpots, the lottery games available in the Garden State have often changed. In fact, it wasn't until January 31, 2010 that New Jersey Powerball tickets became available. This move soon paid off as Sandra McNeil became the first New Jersey Powerball jackpot winner on March 13, 2010. Ms McNeil, from Morristown in Morris County, won $211.7 million and immediately took a leave of absence from her job. This win was extra special as it made the New Jersey lottery the first state lottery to sell winning tickets for both Powerball and Mega Millions.
As with most state lotteries a large percentage of the revenue from New Jersey ticket sales goes to state education. However, some of the money also goes to other good causes including schools, psychiatric hospitals, disability support and, more recently, support for injured war veterans. In the fiscal year of 2010 alone, the NJ Lottery was able to give are more than $924 million to selected organizations and programs in the state. While most states are now able to donate similar sums to charitable organizations, the New Jersey Lottery was the first to be able to do so successfully, as it was the first financially successful modern lottery. It was able to succeed thanks to low running costs and turning a higher percentage of ticket sales into prizes. The NJ Lottery's popularity is mainly down to this last factor and with Pick 6, Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots increasing all the time, it's sure to remain popular.