Kentucky sold its first lottery tickets on April 4, 1989. Over $5 million worth of Kentucky lotto tickets were sold on the very first day. A year later, the state lottery had sold a mega $266 million worth of tickets thanks to games like Beginner’s Luck, Lotto Kentucky, and Kentucky Derby Dreamstakes.
The Kentucky Lottery was the very first lottery in the US to be operated by a corporation as the Kentucky Lottery Corporation (KLC). It’s played a big role in funding a number of state schemes over the years, too, with nearly 30% of total sales revenue being plowed into the commonwealth. In 2014, Kentucky Lottery sales soared to over $850 million, with $225 million going toward the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The funds are allocated to different programs, including Affordable Housing Trust Funds, College Access Program, and Kentucky’s Early Childhood Fund.
Earlier games made use of the Beitel Criterion machine, which was donated to the Kentucky Historical Society in 2009. It was used for the very first twentieth-century legal lottery draws in the state and was used for four more years after that. This was when players could watch winning numbers drawn on TV.