Maryland voters overwhelmingly approved a state lottery in 1972, by a margin of five to one in some counties. Sales for the Maryland Lottery’s first weekly passive game began on May 15, 1973.
The Lottery’s first numbers game was Pick 3, which launched on July 29, 1976. It wasn’t until 1983 that another draw game, Pick 4, was introduced. Also in 1983, Maryland began Lotto at the price of two draws for $1. Keno has been an important game for the Maryland Lottery since its launch in 1996, and the monitor game was joined by Racetrax in 2007. These games all remain part of the Maryland Lottery’s lineup of draw games, which also includes Multi-Match, Bonus Match 5, Powerball and Mega Millions. Maryland was a founding member of the last-named multistate game, which launched as The Big Game in 1996.
Maryland has a unique history in the instant ticket arena. Its first scratch ticket was released in 1976, but these games weren’t offered regularly until 1986, and in fact there were no instant games at all in the early 1980s.
A new era for Maryland began in 2008 when voters approved video lottery terminals at certain locations around the state. The first casino with the gaming machines, Hollywood Casino Perryville, opened in September 2010. Four are currently operating, the largest of which, Maryland Live!, opened in June 2012.
Most lottery revenues are deposited into the state’s General Fund to support such services and programs as education, public health, human resources, public safety and much more, all of which greatly benefit the citizens of Maryland. Historically, a portion of Lottery proceeds were earmarked for the Maryland Stadium Authority; currently, Mega Millions revenues provide this funding.
Year Established: 1973
Pick 3, Pick 4, Bonus Match 5, Multi-Match, Mega Millions, Powerball, 5 Card Cash, Instant Games, Keno, and Racetrax
Beneficiaries: State’s General Fund