Lottery Timeline and Historic Milestones
November 1988: Fifty-seven percent of Minnesota voters approve a constitutional amendment to authorize a state lottery.
1989 Legislative Session: The Minnesota Legislature passes legislation to start a lottery and splits the proceeds evenly between the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund and the Greater Minnesota Corporation (GMC).
1989 First Special Legislative Session: “In-lieu-of-sales tax” imposed on Lottery tickets. Proceeds from this tax assigned to the General Fund.
June 1989: Governor Perpich signs Lottery-enabling legislation creating the Minnesota State Lottery.
September 1989: George R. Andersen appointed as Minnesota's first Lottery Director.
1990 Legislative Session: Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund contribution reduced from 50 percent to 40 percent. Greater Minnesota Corporation contribution reduced from 50 percent to 25 percent. “Infrastructure development fund for capital improvement projects to develop or protect the state’s environment and natural resources” established and given 6.7 percent of Lottery net proceeds.
March 22, 1990: First retailer contract awarded to SuperAmerica.
April 17, 1990: Minnesota State Lottery starts selling scratch game tickets.
May 1990: The Legislature changes the way Lottery proceeds are distributed: 40 percent for the Trust Fund, 35 percent for the Infrastructure Development Fund and 25 percent for the GMC.
May 11, 1990: Lottery selects Control Data Corporation to provide online services.
June 1990: Infrastructure Development Fund added as a beneficiary.
June 29, 1990: Lottery pays back start-up loan of $8.5 million to state.
August 13, 1990: The Lottery reaches $100 million in sales, distributing about half in prizes.
August 14, 1990: The Lottery launches its first two numbers games simultaneously with the debut of Daily 3 and Lotto*Minnesota, a multi-state game.
November 1990: With 75 percent of the vote, Minnesotans dedicate 40 percent of Lottery proceeds to the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund until 2001.
November 13, 1990: The Lottery awards its first Lotto*Minnesota jackpot, $18.5 million, to Rita Oberg of Roseville.
1991 Legislative Session: $9 million of Lottery proceeds originally allocated to the Greater Minnesota Corporation reallocated to the General Fund. Dedications to the Greater Minnesota Corporation and the infrastructure funds repealed as of July 1, 1991, thus sending 60 percent of Lottery net proceeds to the General Fund.
May 22, 1991: The Lottery starts Minnesota's Own Cash Lotto, Gopher 5.
June 1991: The Legislature changes how Lottery proceeds are divided: 40 percent for the Trust Fund and 60 percent for the state General Fund.
April 18, 1992: The last Lotto*Minnesota drawing.
April 19, 1992: The multi-state Powerball game replaces Lotto*Minnesota.
May 13, 1992: Bob and Nadine Lewis of Burnsville win $12.5 million and become Minnesota's first Powerball jackpot winners.
June 1, 1993: Erva and Merrill Barsness of St. Paul wins first $1 million Instant Millions prize.
June 18, 1993: The Lottery reaches $1 billion in total sales.
April 11, 1994: DATO! offered players seven ways to win and a top prize of $5,000.
July 1, 1995: Minnesota state Legislature eliminates the Lottery Board.
September 16, 1996: Daily Millions begins. Players picked two numbers from each of three sets of 21 for a chance to win $1 million.
March 29, 1998: Daily Millions ends, replaced by Cash4Life.
March 30, 1998: Cash4Life begins with a top prize of $1,000 a week for life (10-year minimum pay out).
July 1, 1998: Retailer commissions for selling lottery tickets increased from 5 percent to 5.5 percent. Lottery retailers also began earning a 1 percent “cashing bonus.”
November 3, 1998: Minnesotans, for the third time in the past 10 years, approved a constitutional amendment supporting the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund. This year’s amendment rededicated 40 percent of the state Lottery proceeds to the Trust Fund until the year 2025. The amendment also allows the maximization of the long-term total return to the Trust Fund by permitting up to 5.5 percent of the fund’s market value to be appropriated each year of a biennium. Up until the 1997 fiscal year, only a limited amount of the Trust Fund’s principal and the interest earned was available for expenditure.
October 26, 1999: The Lottery launched the Golden Ticket Games, its first-ever $10 Scratch Game ticket. This was also the first time technology enabled the Lottery to merge two separate tickets into the same foil pouch. Overall odds for the Golden Ticket Games was 1 in 1 (each pouch included at least a guaranteed $3 winner) with a top prize of $250,000.
2000 Legislative Session: In-lieu-of-sales tax rededicated, with 3 percent going to the General Fund and the remainder split evenly between the Game and Fish Fund and the Natural Resources Fund.
September 7, 2000: Cash4Life game ends
September 9, 2000: First Rolldown™ drawing. Sales began on Sept. 8, 2000.
2001 Legislative Session: General Fund portion of in-lieu-of-sales tax increased from 3 percent to 13 percent.
March 4, 2001: Players have the option of adding Power Play™ to their Powerball purchase.
March 7, 2001: First Powerball drawing to include the Power Play multiplier. Five was the first Power Play multiplier drawn.
April 7, 2002: Hot Lotto replaced Rolldown. The first drawing was April 10, 2002.
Sept. 4, 2002: Minnesota’s first Hot Lotto jackpot won. Shirley Winston of Bloomington won a $2.35 million jackpot. She selected the $1.37 million cash option.
February 3, 2003: G3 Games launch
March 1, 2003: The Minnesota State Lottery’s daily drawing show gets a new look. A digital drawing system replaced in-studio draws. The winning numbers are generated by an independently certified random number generator.
October 7, 2003: Northstar Cash launches.
June 1, 2004: The Lottery announced that total contributions to the State of Minnesota reached $1 billion.
May 2, 2006: Lucky, MN Players Club launches.
November 1, 2006: The Lottery launches its first Minnesota Millionaire Raffle game. With two guaranteed $1 million prizes, this game offers the Lottery’s best chance to win $1 million.
July 1, 2007: Projects funded with Lottery proceeds transferred to the Environment & Natural Resources Trust Fund now selected on an annual basis (projects were previously selected every two years).
January 3, 2008: Hot Lotto Sizzler option begins. For an extra $1 per play, all non-jackpot prizes are multiplied by 3.
August 5, 2008: Print-N-Play games replace G3 games.
October 6, 2008: A third drawing is added each week to Gopher 5. Drawings are now held on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
January 31, 2010: Mega Millions launches in Minnesota.
August 24, 2010: Progressive Print-N-Play begins.
November 18, 2010: Subscription sales of Powerball, Mega Millions, Hot Lotto, Gopher 5, Northstar Cash and Daily 3 began. Players could purchase advance drawings of these games on the Lottery’s website.
May 2011: The Lottery raises the $2 billionth dollar for the state of Minnesota.
August 10, 2011: Thomas and Kathleen Morris of Burnsville become Minnesota’s largest Powerball jackpot winners, winning $228.9 million. They selected the $123.6 million cash option.
Jan. 15, 2012: Powerball ticket price increased to $2 to fund bigger prizes. Match 5 prize increased to $1 million; starting jackpot $40 million; pool of Powerball numbers decreased to 35 from 39. Match 5 prize with Power Play increased to $2 million.