It’s a historic day here at the Ohio Lottery. Not only is today the 37th anniversary of the first Ohio Lottery drawing, it is also the first time many of us here at the Ohio Lottery Commission has felt an earthquake!
At first I thought I was crazy, but I could feel the room moving and I could see the water in the cup on my desk sloshing back and forth. It lasted about 10 seconds. Then I yelled out to others in the office, “Did you feel that?” Some did, some didn’t. CNN has confirmed that a 5.9 quake hit Virginia and people from Georgia to Ohio and Michigan felt it.
Enough with the earthquake, the real history for the Ohio Lottery today is the anniversary of the first Lottery drawing. It’s been 37 years since the drawing of the Lottery’s first game, Buckeye 300. Omar Watts was the first Ohio Lottery millionaire.
The first Ohio Lottery games were weekly “passive” games in which players bought tickets with the play numbers already printed on them. The game was designed with five three-digit numbers appearing in alternating blue and green boxes. Players won by matching the numbers on their ticket with the numbers drawn live each week at TV-5 in Cleveland.
The games have come a long way since then. Today the Ohio Lottery has nine online games including the multi-state games Powerball and Mega Millions. Players can also play a number of instant ticket games ranging from $1 to $20. Did you know our instant games account for more than half of Lottery sales?
One hundred percent of Lottery profits help to support education in Ohio. The Ohio Lottery transferred $738 million to the Lottery Profits Education Fund in support of K-12 education in Ohio in 2011.