Lottery players have won more than $31.5 billion in prizes since 1973
When the Maryland Lottery first opened its doors in 1973, leisure suits and bell bottoms were in style, Secretariat galloped to the Triple Crown, and the pop music charts were topped by the likes of Tony Orlando, Roberta Flack and Marvin Gaye. Now, 50 years later, the Maryland Lottery is celebrating its golden anniversary with a year full of new products and promotions.
“It’s exciting for us to mark this moment in history and share it with our players, retailers and all of Maryland,” said Maryland Lottery and Gaming Director John Martin.
Lottery ticket sales since 1973 have generated more than $31.5 billion in prizes to players and contributed more than $18.6 billion to the State of Maryland, making the Lottery one of the state’s leading revenue sources.
“For five decades, the Lottery has been focused on responsibly raising revenue to support Maryland’s good causes,” Martin said. “To celebrate our 50th anniversary, we’ve planned a lot of great games and promotions that we’re eager to share with everyone.”
The Maryland Lottery kicked off the year with today’s launch of its first 50th anniversary-themed product, the $1 We’re 50 Win $50 FAST PLAY game. Beginning Jan. 23, Lottery players can look for the Gold Multiplier family of games, which includes four scratch-offs ranging in price from $1 to $10. Players can enter non-winning tickets into the Gold Multiplier Second-Chance Promotion for the chance to win one of five $50,000 prizes.
In February, the Maryland Lottery will launch its first $50 scratch-off ticket, 50 Years!, with three $5 million top prizes. February will also mark the beginning of the 50th Anniversary Cash Bash promotion, with another chance for players to win up to $5 million by entering eligible scratch-offs and draw game tickets. The 50th Anniversary Cash Bash promotion will culminate in September with an event that will be held at the Maryland State Fair with 10 finalists vying for a grand prize of up to $5 million. In addition, the Lottery will launch the $2 Instant Lottery scratch-off game in February, paying homage to Maryland’s inaugural scratch-off game of the same name, which launched in 1976.
Later this year the Lottery will recognize 36 “legacy” retailers that have been selling tickets for nearly the entire 50 years of the Lottery’s history.
MARYLAND LOTTERY MILESTONE DATES
Jan. 2, 1973: The Maryland Lottery opened its doors with 94 employees and 3,800 licensed retailers.
May 15, 1973: Ticket sales began for the first Maryland Lottery game, Twin Win.
May 24, 1973: The first Lottery drawing took place at Baltimore’s Hopkins Plaza.
Feb. 10, 1976: Maryland’s first scratch-off game went on sale, the $1 Instant Lottery.
July 29, 1976: The first Pick 3 drawing was held.
April 8, 1983: The first Pick 4 drawing was held.
Jan. 4, 1993: Keno was launched.
May 1, 1995: Midday Pick 3 and Pick 4 drawings launched.
Sept. 6, 1996: Maryland participated in the first drawing of Mega Millions.
February 2006: Multi-Match launched replacing Lotto, the original in-state jackpot game.
Feb. 3, 2010: Maryland participated in its first drawing of Powerball.
Feb. 10, 2020: FAST PLAY sales began.
Jan. 20, 2021: Coney Market in Lonaconing (Allegany County) sold jackpot-winning Powerball ticket worth $731.1 million, the largest prize in Maryland Lottery history.
Feb. 7, 2022: The first Pick 5 drawing was held.
For a complete list of Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency milestones, click here.