History of the Illinois Lottery: 1974 - 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
Sept. 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.
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.
- 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.
- Aug. 1 – Michael J. Jones is appointed as the Lottery's third Superintendent.
- Feb. 19 - Daily Game (Pick 3) is introduced featuring six drawings weekly.
- July 1 - Richard Carlson becomes the Lottery's second Superintendent.
- Oct. 21 - First instant game (7-11-21) introduced.
- 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.