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New Jersey Lottery
New Jersey Lottery
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HISTORY

Giving Dreams a Chance Since 1971

1971 was a big year for debuts. All In The Family aired its first episode. Walt Disney World opened for business. And Intel introduced the world to the Microprocessor. 1971 was also the year The New Jersey Lottery held its first millionaire drawing. Since then, we've given away more jackpots than we can possibly remember. And we're happy to say we're still going strong!

Lottery History

1969

November - Voters Approve Lottery

New Jersey voters overwhelmingly approved the establishment of a State Lottery as part of the general election. The 81.5 percent majority in favor of a Lottery was one of the largest in New Jersey political history

1970

April - Senate Confirms First New Jersey Lottery Executive Director

Ralph Batch has been confirmed by the New Jersey Senate as the first Executive Director of the New Jersey State Lottery.

December 16 - First Lottery Ticket Sold to Governor William T. Cahill

New Jersey Lottery weekly game tickets went on sale at 2,000 agent locations throughout the state.

1971

March - First Millionaire Drawing Held

The lucky winners were Edward and Kathleen Henry of West Caldwell. The first annuity payment in the amount of $50,000 was presented by Dr. Thomas E. Maggio, chairman of the New Jersey Lottery Commission.

1972

November - The First 5 Digit Daily Game is Introduced

The 50¢, 5-Digit Daily Game is introduced featuring $10,000 top prizes.

1974

January - Senate Confirms New Jersey Lottery Executive Director

Charles Carella has been confirmed by the New Jersey Senate as the new Executive Director of the New Jersey State Lottery.

1975

May - Pick-It.  The Nation’s 1st Online Game is Introduced

New Jersey Lottery introduces the first online Lottery numbers game in the U.S.

June - First Instant Game Introduced

New Jersey's first instant game called "7-11-21" features instant cash for prizes up to $10,000.

September - Senate Confirms New Jersey Lottery Executive Director

Henry Luther, Esq. has been confirmed by the New Jersey Senate as the new Executive Director of the New Jersey State Lottery.

1977

January - First Televised New Jersey Lottery Drawing

New Jersey Network televised the first broadcast of a New Jersey Lottery drawing with former Miss New Jersey, Hela Young as the Hostess.

June - Pick-4 is Introduced

New Jersey Lottery introduces Pick-4, a weekly computerized four digit game.

July - Senate Confirms New Jersey Lottery Executive Director

Gloria Decker has been confirmed by the New Jersey Senate as the new Executive Director of the New Jersey State Lottery.

1980

May - Pick-6 Lotto is Introduced

Sales of the game begin after a successful test of the computerized sales network of 2,000 agents. Tickets cost $1, and an added feature of the game is a grand prize bonus drawing with cash prizes up to $100,000.

1981

March - First Pick-6 Bonus Drawing Held

May - First Pick-6 Lotto Millionaire

Manuel Collada of Hillside, NJ, won a $1.8 million cash prize.

1982

April - Senate Confirms New Jersey Lottery Executive Director

Hazel Frank Gluck has been confirmed by the New Jersey Senate as the new Executive Director of the New Jersey State Lottery.

October - Pick-6 Lotto annuity prize began

1983

May - New Jersey Lottery Names 100th Millionaire

1984

June - Pick-6 Lotto Game Expands Numbers; Bonus Drawing Rises to $1 Million

Pick-6 Lotto matrix increased from 6 out of 36 to 6 out of 39 numbers and the Pick-6 Bonus drawing prize was raised to $1 million.

1985

May - Senate Confirms New Jersey Lottery Executive Director

Joan Zielinski has been confirmed by the New Jersey Senate as the new Executive Director of the New Jersey State Lottery.

1986

February - Pick-6 Adds More Numbers; Drawings Held Twice a Week

New Jersey Lottery Commission approves changes in Pick-6 Lotto, changing the number base from 6 out of 39 to 6 out of 42. A second weekly drawing is also added.

June - $1 Billion Mark is Reached

Pick-6 Lotto passes the $1 billion mark in cumulative total sales.

1987

February - Pick-It name changed to Pick-3

April - Yearly Sales Surpass $1 Billion

April - Senate Confirms New Jersey Lottery Executive Director

Barbara Marrow-Mooring has been confirmed by the New Jersey Senate as the new Executive Director of the New Jersey State Lottery.

1989

January - Pick-6 Lotto Game Expands Numbers; Adds Sunday Drawings for Daily Games

Pick-6 Lotto is changed from 42 to 46 numbers. Lottery Commission approved Sunday drawings for its two daily games, Pick-3 and Pick-4.

1991

July - Lottery Helps Gamblers

Toll free "hotline" set up for persons with compulsive gambling problems, printed on all Lottery tickets and literature.

July - Senate Confirms New Jersey Lottery Executive Director

Frank Pelly has been confirmed by the New Jersey Senate as the new Executive Director of the New Jersey State Lottery.

1992

September - Jersey Cash 5 is Introduced

Sales begin for the new Jersey Cash 5 game, with all cash prizes (no annuities) and no rollovers.

1993

August - "Lucky 372" Share $8.6 Million Pick-6 Jackpot

The largest group ever to share a Pick-6 Lotto prize claimed the $8.6 million jackpot.

1994

July - Senate Confirms New Jersey Lottery Executive Director

Virginia Haines has been confirmed by the New Jersey Senate as the new Executive Director of the New Jersey State Lottery.

1995

January - 25th Anniversary Kick Off

The New Jersey Lottery kicks off the 25th Anniversary of the Lottery and unveils the state's first $5 instant game, Lucky Anniversary.

May - Pick-6 Lotto Exceeds $5 Billion in Sales Since Inception

1996

January - Lottery Introduces First "Win for Life" Instant Game

Lottery introduced the first Win for Life game, offering a top prize of $1,000 a week for life and many other prizes.

December - Lottery Introduces first $10 Instant Game

1997

May - Lottery Announces Cash Option and Advanced Play for Pick-6 Lotto

New Jersey Lottery introduced Cash Option which allows Pick-6 Lotto players to select receiving the top prize in one lump sum. Also, players can now play Pick-6 Lotto numbers in advance.

1998

March - Lottery Introduces "LOTZEE"

Introduction of LOTZEE game is approved with Saturday night draw. The tickets are $2 each and the top prize is $500,000.

September - Lottery Changes Pick-6 Annuity to 25 Years

The New Jersey Lottery changes the annuity structure from 20 years to 25.

1999

May - New Jersey Lottery joins Multi-state Lottery, "Big Game"

Introduction of Big Game to New Jersey Lottery. Other states include: Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Maryland, and Virginia.

December - First New Jersey Player Wins Big Game

A retired Ocean County man took home the top prize of $13 million in Big Game.

2000

May - Big Game Jackpot reaches $363 Million

Big Game soared to $363 million, one of the largest jackpots in American history, on May 9, 2000. Two winning tickets from Michigan and Illinois split the jackpot.

2001

February - Largest Pick-6 Lotto Jackpot in New Jersey History

The highest Pick-6 Lotto jackpot in New Jersey history, $48.9 million, is won by James and Eileen Rath of Union, Union County.

June - BIG GAME Winner Claims Winning Ticket in Knick of Time

A winning BIG GAME ticket worth $46 million sold in Bergen County is claimed two days before expiration by Melvin Milligan of Passaic, Passaic County.

September - Final Pick-6 Lotto Bonus Drawing Held in Atlantic City

Six co-workers from Sutton Warehouse in Sayerville, Middlesex County share in $1 million prize at Final Bonus drawing. The Bonus Million feature was eliminated as part of the Lottery's enhanced Pick-6 Lotto game, which debuted on September 11, 2000.

October - Jersey Cash 5 Drawings Increased to Seven Days a Week

Jersey Cash 5 drawings are increased to include Saturday and Sunday.

October - Lottery Introduces "For Every Dollar, There's a Dream" Instant Game

Spokesperson and recording legend Ray Charles and Executive Director Virginia Haines unveil "For Every Dollar, There's a Dream" instant game.

October - 100th Win For Life Winner

Rufus Street of Paterson of Passaic County is the 100th top prizewinner of the Win For Life instant game since it was first introduced in 1996.

October - New Jersey Lottery Wins Batchy Award

The Lottery wins the distinguished Batchy Award for "Best Web Site Home Page" and "Best Print Ad" from the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries (NASPL).

November - Introduction of Midday Drawings

Drawings for two of the Lottery's most popular games, Pick 3 and Pick 4, evolve with the addition of midday drawings to increase prizes and winners.

2002

January - Introduction of Big Money Spectacular Instant Game

Big Money Spectacular offers largest payout of any $2 instant game ticket in NJ history.

January - Lottery makes several improvements to "Lotzee"

A Wednesday drawing is added and higher payouts for winners.

April - Largest New Jersey Big Game Jackpot Won

Jorge and Joanne Lopes win the largest prize in New Jersey Lottery History when they claim $331 million in the Big Game.

May - Mega Millions Replaces Big Game

Mega Million's makes its debut at over 6,000 retailer locations throughout the state. Kick-off event held aboard the USS New Jersey in Camden.

June - Lottery Sales Surpass $2 Billion for First Time in History

July - New Jersey's first Mega Millions Top-prize Winner

Sundel "Sonny" Judson of Cliffside Park becomes New Jersey's first Mega Millions top-prize winner by claiming the $165 Million prize.

August - New Jersey Lottery launches new web site address: www.njlottery.net

2003

March - Introduction of Slingo

One of the nation’s most popular Internet games introduced as an instant game.

March - The New Jersey Lottery renovates its nightly drawing stage and website design

March - The International Gaming & Wagering Business Magazines' annual Lottery Efficiency Study ranked the New Jersey Lottery as one of its most efficient Lotteries in the nation

July - Lottery Sales Top $2 Billion for Second Year in a Row

August - Senate Confirms New Jersey Lottery Executive Director

Virginia S. Bauer has been confirmed by the New Jersey Senate as the new Executive Director of the New Jersey State Lottery.

August - New Jersey broadens its AMBER Alert network to include 6,000 lottery retailer locations throughout the Garden State.

August - The End of LOTZEE

September - Jersey Cash 5 Improvements

Jersey Cash 5 changes from "roll down" game to "roll over" game producing higher prizes for winners.

2004

February - Introduction of Cyber Slingo, the First Internet Lottery Game

New Jersey Lottery introduces first Lottery game with on-line component.

February - Introduction of the Where the Money Goes Speakers Bureau Tour

With the goal of educating players about how Lottery revenue is distributed and used to enhance state education program

October - Lottery Executive Wins Prestigious North American Award

Foster Krupa, New Jersey Lottery's Marketing & Instant Game Manager, claims the Powers Award from the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries (NASPL). Mr. Krupa was presented in recognition of his significant contribution to the New Jersey Lottery.

November - New Jersey Lottery Launches Second E-Game: Tetris

Tetris, the famous action puzzle game that has been played around the world for nearly 20 years, was converted into the form of an instant ticket.

2005

February - California Announces Plans to Join Mega Millions

June - Senate Confirms New Jersey Lottery Executive Director

Michellene Davis, Esq. has been confirmed by the New Jersey Senate as the new Executive Director of the New Jersey State Lottery.

June - California Joins Mega Millions Group

With the addition of California to the Mega Millions family, the matrix changed to create the ability for much larger jackpots, growing at a much faster rate. The second tier prize rose to $250,000 (up from $175,000) as the third prize jumped to $10,000 (up from $5,000).

June - Chinese Delegation of Sports Lottery Officials Visit New Jersey Lottery

The New Jersey State Lottery's outstanding reputation as one of the most efficient and cost effective state lotteries in the United States has earned a visit from the representatives of China's Sports Lottery. The contingent of 10 met with Executive Director Michellene Davis and several members of her senior staff to learn about management methods, efficiency and cost effectiveness.

September 16 - Largest Single Ticket Win in NJ Lottery History

Harold & Helen Lerner of Bergen County win $258 Million in Mega Millions.

2006

June 2 - Raynald Holder of Middlesex County Wins $47 Million in Mega Millions

September 26 - Martin Fogarty of Bergen County Wins $15 Million in Mega Millions

2007

March 6 - Cape May County Couple Wins Record Setting Mega Millions Jackpot

Harold & Elaine Messner of Cape May County win half of record $390 Million Mega Millions jackpot.

August 31 - John & Sandra Belawsky of Cape May County Win Mega Millions

Cape May County couple one of four winners of near record $330 Million Mega Millions jackpot.

September 25 - John & Linda Feeney of Passaic County Win $12 Million in Mega Millions

October 27 - Jersey Cash 5 Hits Record Jackpot of $1,864,438

Seven winners in six counties split this record jackpot which shattered the old record by more than $600,000.

December 17 - Twelve Morris County educators Win Mega Millions

A group of faculty and staff at Morris Knolls High School are one of two winners that split a $163 million Mega Millions jackpot.

2008

July 22 - The Lopes Family of Union County Win $126 Million in Mega Millions

2009

March 3 - Ten employees from Chubb Insurance in Whitehouse Station Win Mega Millions

A group of fellow employees at Chubb Insurance share a $216 million Mega Millions jackpot.

May 15 - Lottery Stops Televising Midday Drawings On NJN; Puts Video Of Drawings Online

November 10 - The Lopes Family of Union County Share $77 Million Mega Millions Win

A family from the City of Elizabeth, Union County split a $77 million Mega Millions jackpot with a California winner.

2010

January 31 - New Jersey Lottery Begins Selling Powerball Tickets

The New Jersey Lottery joins with other States across America in adding the popular multi-State game Powerball to its roster of games.

March 13 - Sandra McNeil Becomes New Jersey's First Powerball Jackpot Winner

Sandra McNeil of Morristown , Morris County , was the sole winner of a $211.7 million Powerball jackpot, becoming the first New Jerseyan ever to win a Powerball jackpot, and making New Jersey the first State to sell winning jackpot tickets for both Mega Millions and Powerball.

June 10 - Carole Hedinger Announced As Next Executive Director of New Jersey Lottery

Carole Hedinger of Toms River, Ocean County, was named by New Jersey State Treasurer Andrew P. Sidamon-Eristoff as the next Executive Director of the New Jersey Lottery.

August 27 - The Mundrick Family Becomes Largest Solo Winner of a Jersey Cash 5 Jackpot

Grace and Henry Mundrick of Oak Ridge, Morris County, had the only winning ticket for a Jersey Cash 5 Jackpot of just over $1.5 million, making them the largest single-ticket winner of a Jersey Cash 5 Jackpot in that game's history.

2011

January 11 - Megaplier Is Added To Mega Millions

Megaplier multiplies non-jackpot Mega Millions prizes by 2, 3, or 4 times the winnings, up to $1,000,000.

April 3 - Instant Match Now Available For Jersey Cash 5

April 4 - Million Dollar Replay Game Begins

2012

January 15 - New $2 Powerball Introduced With Jackpots Starting at $20 Million and Increased Odds of Winning

2013

January 1 - Live Nightly Drawings Begin Airing on CBS Stations

May 18 - Powerball Jackpot Reaches $600 Million

2014

June 13 - Launch Of CASH4LLIFE Draw Game

The New Jersey and New York lotteries announced the launch of the multi-state CASH4LIFE draw game. CASH4LIFE is the first draw-based “for Life” game with a top jackpot prize of $1,000 A DAY for LIFE and the second prize is $1,000 A WEEK for LIFE.

July 1 - Erica Young Debuts As Lottery Drawing Hostess For Live TV Drawings

October 19 - Launch Of MONOPOLY MILLIONAIRES' CLUB Draw Game

2015

January 13 - Launch Of XTRA For Pick-6

Pick-6 XTRA increases non-jackpot Pick-6 prizes and adds a $2 prize for matching two numbers.

August 2 - Launch Of Fast Play Games

Fast Play offers a new series of draw based games offering instant wins.

2016

January 13 - $1.6 BILLION Powerball Jackpot - Largest In American History

Three jackpot winners claimed the prize. One each in Florida, Tennessee and California.

May 7 - Record-Breaking $429.6 Million POWERBALL Jackpot Winning Ticket Sold By New Jersey Lottery Retailer

Eight members of the Smith Family won the $429.6 million jackpot. The Winning ticket was sold at the 7-Eleven, 750 Chambers Street, Trenton in Mercer County.

May 16 - Launch Of 5 Card Cash Draw Game

New Poker-themed draw based game which features a "WIN NOW" component, a "WIN TONIGHT" nightly drawing component and and "ALL IN" option to multiply "WIN NOW" winnings.

October 3 - Launch Of XTRA For Jersey Cash 5

Jersey Cash 5 XTRA increases non-jackpot Jersey Cash 5 prizes and adds a $2 prize for matching two numbers.

November 28 - New Jersey Lottery Receives WLA Level 4 Responsible Gaming Certification

Level 4 Certification is the highest level of achievement in responsible gaming from the World Lottery Association (WLA). The New Jersey Lottery is only the third State Lottery in the nation to achieve this prestigious certification.

2017

February 27 – FIREBALL Launches for Pick-3 and Pick-4

The exciting new add-on included a new FIREBALL number to be drawn with each midday and evening drawing, giving players additional ways to win.

May 15 – Launch of CASH4LIFE with Doubler

CASH4LIFE got an add-on feature of its own with the addition of DOUBLER, giving players the opportunity to double any non-"for-life" prizes.

July 17 – The Keno-Style game Quick Draw Launches in New Jersey

The new game, Quick Draw, launched in 400 locations across the state. Quick Draw is a keno-style game with drawings every five minutes.

October 31 – Mega Millions Game is Enriched with Increased Prizes

The odds matrix was restructured for Mega Millions, increasing the starting jackpot from $15 million to $40 million in the process. Additionally, the odds have improved for players to hit the second-tier prize of $1 million. As well, many lower-tier prizes were increased.

2018

March 30 – New Jersey Lottery Player Richard Wahl Hits $533 Million Mega Millions Jackpot

The $533 million Mega Millions jackpot was claimed by Richard Wahl of Vernon, NJ. The $533 million jackpot is the largest Lottery jackpot in New Jersey history, the fourth largest Mega Millions jackpot, and the tenth largest Lottery jackpot in North American history at the time of the drawing.

May 14 – Erica Young Introduces Lauren Berman as the new Lottery Drawing Host

Erica Young hosted the live Lottery drawings for 4 years before moving into an expanded communications role with the Lottery.

May 19 – New Jersey Lottery Player Tayeb Souami Hits $315.3 Million Powerball Jackpot

The $315.3 million Powerball jackpot was claimed by Tayeb Souami of Little Ferry, NJ. The amazing Powerball jackpot comes just seven weeks after the $533 million Mega Millions jackpot was also claimed in New Jersey, an amazing streak of luck for New Jersey and its players.