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Kentucky Lottery’s 100+ Games Generate More Than $1B Per Year


Players from across the state of Kentucky have been able to enjoy the simple pastime of playing a state-run lottery for the better part of four decades.

As part of the Kentucky Lottery, players can enjoy their favorite draw games and scratch-offs purchased at retail locations as well as online, where instant win lottery games are in abundance. In each case, players have the opportunity to win vast sums of cash prizes and contribute to the investment in state educational programs and social services.

Cash prizes are available in amounts that run the gamut, from a few cents to millions of dollars. These prizes can be redeemed as one lump sum or be awarded as several payments stretched out over time. Additionally, the Kentucky Lottery will periodically provide players with promotions that offer unique prizes, like event tickets, giveaways, deposit bonuses, and referral offers.

Kentucky Lottery overview

Governor Wallace G. Wilkinson appointed the Kentucky Lottery Commission to develop a draft for the creation of a lottery in 1988. The draft became a referendum on which more than one million Kentuckians voted, passing the measure with 60% in favor of establishing a state lottery. Legislation establishing the lottery was signed by the governor in December of the same year, and Kentucky became the first state in the US to implement its lottery as a corporation. Thus the Kentucky Lottery Corporation (KLC) was born.

The following year, the Kentucky Senate established the Kentucky Lottery board of directors, consisting of seven members. Regional offices were established in Lexington, Florence, Henderson, Prestonsburg, Bowling Green, and Ashland and employed 155 staff.

Once prepared with a workforce to power the corporation, Kentucky released not one, but two instant games, Beginner’s Luck and Kentucky Derby Dreamstakes. More than 5,000 retailers were licensed to sell KY Lottery games, pulling in $27 million for the KLC in just its first week.

Today, the KLC generates more than $1 billion in annual revenue, offering hundreds of draw games, scratch-offs, and instant games at thousands of retail locations and online.

Kentucky Lottery games

The collection of lottery games, which includes network and multistate lotteries, online instant games (called Instant Play Games), and Keno offerings, includes more than 100 unique titles. Among the most popular lottery games that can be played both online and in retail locations are:

  • Lucky for Life
  • Cash Ball 225
  • Mega Millions
  • Powerball
  • Pick 4
  • Pick 3
  • Keno

Where does the Kentucky Lottery money go?

The money spent on each Kentucky Lottery game played goes to many different places, including the funding of Kentucky college scholarships and state social programs. Here is a breakdown of how each cent of each dollar spent on KY Lottery games is spent:

  • Sixty-seven percent of every dollar, a majority of every sale, goes directly to the winners of KY Lottery games in the form of cash prizes, incentives, and other rewards.
  • Twenty-two percent of every dollar is invested back into the commonwealth of Kentucky.
  • Six percent is provided to retailers in the form of commissions and incentives. Many of these establishments are mom-and-pop shops and other local businesses, like restaurants, bars, and convenience stores.
  • Five percent goes to the administration costs of the KLC and the general upkeep of the institution.

When it comes to the money reinvested in education and social programs for Kentuckians, more than $5 billion has found its way into the hands of educational, grant, and scholarship programs. For example, here are some quick facts detailing how the lives of residents are improved by money generated by the lottery:

  • One out of every 5 citizens has received a scholarship or grant from educational assistance funding that includes lottery funds.
  • Some form of educational funding assistance has been provided to 820,000 Kentucky college students.
  • Thirty-four million grants and scholarships have been awarded as a part of the KY Lottery-funded education assistance programs.

The most notable programs to receive KY Lottery funding include:

Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES) – For each year that Kentucky high school students earn a 2.5 or better GPA, they earn scholarship money for college; the better they perform, the more they earn toward college tuition assistance.

Dual Credit Scholarship Program – Kentucky high school students who are taking dual credit classes at a participating Kentucky college or university can receive assistance, with eligible students receiving scholarships for up to two classes.

College Access Program (CAP) – These grants help Kentucky’s financially needy undergraduate students attend eligible public and private colleges and universities, proprietary schools, and technical colleges.

Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship – Recipients receive scholarships to pay tuition for short-term, career-related certificates in fields where good-paying jobs are available.

Kentucky National Guard Tuition Award Program – This program enables our National Guard service members to be recognized for their service with 100% coverage of their in-state tuition for full-time and part-time study at Kentucky public colleges.

Kentucky Tuition Grant – These grants provide need-based aid to help Kentucky residents attend eligible Kentucky private colleges.

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