dot

History of the Illinois Lottery: 1974 - 1989

1989

  • April 15 - The Illinois State Lottery records its highest jackpot ever, $69.9 million. 

  • May 15 - The name of the Cash 5 game is changed to Little Lotto.

  • July 1 - The Lottery hits $1.5 billion in sales during fiscal year 1989 – a new record.

  • Aug. 9 - Highest ever Daily Game (Pick 3) payout on 1-1-1 (prize payout of $7.28 million or 723%). That same day saw the highest Pick 4 payout ever on 1-0-1-1 prize payout of $1.6 million, or 544%.

  • Aug. 26 - The Madigan Partnership wins $42 million Grand Prize, the (then) largest Lottery prize awarded to a single winner in Lottery history.

  • Nov. 13 - The Lottery reaches $10 billion in sales since its beginning.

  • Dec. 26 - First unclaimed prize fund promotion held. Every 25th Lotto transaction statewide wins holiday bonus.

Back to top

1988

  • April - The first two dollar instant game is launched, Triple Crown. 
  • May 4 - Last draw date for Lotto 7.

  • May 7 - First draw date for Lotto 6/54, replacing Lotto 6/44.

  • June 1 - Cash 5 game starts, a 5/35 Lotto game, held Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Back to top

1987

  • April 22 - Lotto 7 is introduced, replacing the Wednesday Lotto drawing.

  • June 30 - Lottery sales reach $6.5 billion since its inception.

  • Aug. 17 - Sharon Sharp is appointed as the fifth Director of the Illinois State Lottery.

Back to top

1986

  • Jan. 15 - Wednesday Lotto drawing is introduced.

  • Feb. 19 - Lotto subscription services begin.

  • July 1 - The Illinois Lottery separates from the Department of Revenue and becomes the Department of the Lottery.

Back to top

1985

  • Mar. 9 - Pick 4 drawings are increased to seven days per week.
  • June 30 - The lottery announces FY85 results; $1.28B in sales, a billion dollar increase in less than four years. Michael Jones announces his return to private business. 

  • Aug. 1 - Rebecca Paul is appointed as the fourth Superintendent of the Illinois State Lottery.

  • Aug. 30 - First transfer of Lottery proceeds to the Common School Fund (instead of the General Revenue Fund).

  • Dec. 1 - Lotto "Advance Play" is introduced. Quick Pick for the Daily Game (Pick 3) and Pick 4 is introduced. For the first time in Lottery history, sales exceed $1 billion in a single year. 

Back to top

1984

  • Feb. 22 - Lotto "Quick Pick" is introduced.

  • May 19 - First drawing of Lotto 6/44 is held.

  • Aug. 27 - Pick 4 drawings are increased to six days per week.

  • Sep. 1 - Deliberate changes to Lotto, and the decision not to increase the number of drawings, leads to the largest jackpot in modern lottery history. Michael Wittkowski wins $40 million and becomes a folk hero.

  • Nov. 5 - The Governor announces that it took seven years for the lottery to achieve its first billion dollars in sales, and only eighteen months to generate its second billion. 

Back to top

1983

  • January - Illinois creates the Millionaires Dinner (reunion) as a promotional opportunity to showcase winners of a million dollars or more. 

  • Feb. 19 - Illinois introduces Lotto 6/40, the first state to guarantee a million dollar prize. The prize-guarantee kick starts sales and bartender at the Billy Goat Tavern (made famous by Saturday Night Live) becomes the first major Lotto winner
  • Mar. 20 - Daily Game (Pick 3) drawings are increased to seven days per week.
  • March 30 - The Lottery creates the first ever $100,000 instant prize. 

 

Back to top

1982

  • January - Instant game marketing and design is completely revamped, leading to a 62 percent increase in FY sales. Advertising creative is changed to brand advertising. 
  • Feb. 16 - Pick 4 is introduced with drawings on Tuesdays and Fridays. Daily Games sales increase 52% over 1981 sales. 

Back to top

1981

  • Aug. 1 –  Michael J. Jones is appointed as the Lottery's third Superintendent.

Back to top

1980

  • Feb. 19 - Daily Game (Pick 3) is introduced featuring six drawings weekly.

Back to top

1977

  • July 1 - Richard Carlson becomes the Lottery's second Superintendent.

Back to top

1975

  • Oct. 21 - First instant game (7-11-21)  introduced.

Back to top

1974

  • July 1    The Illinois State Lottery officially comes into being with Ralph Batch as the First Superintendent.
  • July 30 - First Lottery tickets go on sale. 

  • Aug. 8 - First Lottery drawing for the weekly passive games is held at the State Fair in Springfield.

  • Dec. 31 - 100,000,000th Lottery ticket sold.

Back to top



dot