The first lottery with cash prizes dates back to 1490, two years before Columbus set sail. Lotteries were authorized to raise money for the colonial army. In addition, a lottery helped put a roof on the United States Capitol. Lotteries also helped build educational institutions like Harvard, Yale and Princeton universities.
It wasn’t until 1964 that the modern lottery era began in New Hampshire, and since that time, lotteries have brought more than $200 billion in revenues for a variety of state programs. Forty-two states and the District of Columbia currently have a lottery. For a complete historical timeline of lotteries, visit www.naspl.org.
On Nov. 6, 1984, Missouri voters overwhelmingly approved the Missouri Lottery by passing Amendment 5, which repealed a section of the state’s constitution prohibiting a lottery. The measure passed with 70 percent of the vote, making the Missouri Lottery the 23rd lottery in the United States.