Giving Dreams a Chance Since 1970
We say that anything can happen in Jersey, because with the New Jersey Lottery…it's true. As we celebrate 50 years since the Lottery's inception, there has been a total of over $42 billion in prizes awarded and a contribution of over $28 billion to the state. In 2019 alone, over 40 millionaires have been made. Take a look at the milestones from the last five decades to see how the Lottery has become what it is today.
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
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.
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.
November - The First 5 Digit Daily Game is Introduced
The 50¢, 5-Digit Daily Game is introduced featuring $10,000 top prizes.
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.
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 is 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.
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.
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.
March - First Pick-6 Bonus Drawing is Held
May - First Pick-6 Lotto Millionaire
Manuel Collada of Hillside, NJ, won a $1.8 million cash prize.
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 Anuity Prize began
May - New Jersey Lottery Names 100th Millionaire
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
September - Jersey Cash 5 is Introduced
Sales begin for the new Jersey Cash 5 game, with all cash prizes (no annuities) and no rollovers.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Website address: www.njlottery.net
March - Introduction of Slingo
One of the nation's most popular Internet games introduced as an instant game.
March - The New Jersey Lottery Renovates it's 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 it's 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 it's 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.
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.
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 to Date
Harold & Helen Lerner of Bergen County win $258 Million in Mega Millions.
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
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.
July 22 - The Lopes Family of Union County Win $126 Million in Mega Millions
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.
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.
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
January 15 - New $2 Powerball Introduced with Jackpots Starting at $20 Million and Increased Odds of Winning
January 1 - Live Nightly Drawings Begin Airing on CBS Stations
May 18 - Powerball Jackpot Reaches $600 Million
June 13 - Launch of CASH4LIFE 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
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.
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.
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.
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 X 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.
October - Quick Draw Continues to Grow
Quick Draw continues to grow as the game becomes available at all Lottery retailers accross the State. In addition to this expansion, the add-on BULLSEYE is introduced giving Quick Draw Players the chance to win bigger prizes and more chances to win.
October 23 - Highest Mega Millions Jackpot in History
The Mega Millions jackpot rolled to $1.6 Billion. This is the highest jackpot for a North American Lottery game ever.
February - Quick Draw Drawings Every 4 Minutes
Quick Draw continutes to grow in popularity and shifts from drawings every 5 minutes to drawings every 4 minutes.
July – CASH4LIFE Drawings go to 7 Days a Week
The Lottery announces that CASH4LIFE will be drawn 7 days a week after 5 years of being drawn twice weekly on Mondays and Thursdays.
September – CASH POP is Launched
A big moment in Lottery history occured with the new game CASH POP making its debut in New Jersey.