History of the New Hampshire Lottery®
Did you know that the New Hampshire Lottery® is the oldest, legal lottery in the United States?
We take pride in being the first and one of the most successful lotteries in the country. Being first-in-the-Nation is an important part of our history. The following explores the historical background of the New Hampshire Lottery®.
State Representative Larry Pickett, from Keene, proposed a Sweepstakes Bill five times from 1953 to 1963. In 1963, Pickett lobbied and gained support for his bill. He saw the Sweepstakes as a viable and voluntary method of raising revenue for education. On April 30, 1963, Governor John King signed the Sweepstakes bill. The first three-member Sweepstakes Commission was sworn into office on August 1, 1963.
It was the mission of Commission Chairman Howell Shepard, Commissioner Henry Turcotte and Commissioner Edward Sanel, Sr., to choose a director. Their selection was F.B. I. Agent Edward J. Powers. The Commission believed that Mr. Powers' legal knowledge and law enforcement experience would instill public confidence in the operation of the Sweepstakes.
Local Option voting was held on March 10, 1964 by special ballot. This allowed the Cities and Towns in New Hampshire to either vote for or against the sale of Sweepstakes tickets. Only 13 of the state's 211 communities voted disapproval of the measure. Sweepstakes tickets went on sale two days later on March 12, 1964.
And so the story goes... Since New Hampshire initiated a lottery, 37 other states, along with the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and five Canadian Provinces have put lotteries into operation. The New Hampshire Lottery® has seen a great deal of change over the years. We have gone from offering only one type of ticket that cost $3 each to offering a variety of lotto-type games and numerous instant games. Sales have gone from $5.7 million in 1964 to more than $239 million in 2009. Since 1964, the Lottery has recorded more than $4.1 billion in sales and other revenue..
Since the inception of the New Hampshire Lottery® in 1964, over $1.3 billion has gone to aid education; helping provide a brighter future for all our kids, and that’s lucky for all of us.
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