NJ Lottery Turns 50 Years Old Today!
December 16, 2020 Marks Fifty Years from the First Ticket Sold in New Jersey
TRENTON (Dec. 16, 2020) – The New Jersey Lottery is proud to celebrate its 50th Anniversary today! Fifty years ago, on December 16, 1970, the first New Jersey Lottery ticket was sold. The ticket cost just 50-cents and was purchased by former New Jersey Governor Cahill. In its first year of operation, NJ Lottery produced ticket sales of over $137 million, allowing over $62 million to be awarded in prizes and returning over $41 million to the State for education and institutions. Now, the NJ Lottery has grown every year, producing Fiscal Year 2019 ticket sales of over $3.4 billion, with over $2 billion in prizes and a contribution to the State of $1.1 billion.
To commemorate this special day, NJ Lottery will be hosting a Facebook Live event where players are encouraged to check-in, watch the celebration, and enter for the chance to be one of 50 winners receiving $500 in Scratch-Offs.
“Anniversaries are a time to remember and to celebrate. We remember that New Jersey voters took a chance on the Lottery and it was a winner. We remember the hard-work of our partners, the smiles of our winners and the entertainment brought to our players. We remind everyone of some of New Jersey’s pioneering accomplishments, such as launching the country’s first computer generated lottery numbers game; presenting the first Internet Lottery game in the U.S.; and becoming the first lottery in America to livestream drawings on the Internet. We plan on celebrating this Golden Anniversary with our Garden State fans by holding an online event where players can enter to win prizes and have fun while learning about our history,” said Lottery Executive Director James A. Carey, Jr.
The first New Jersey Lottery tickets went on sale December 16, 1970, and this year-end event is the perfect way to cap off NJ Lottery’s 50th anniversary celebration. The Lottery has been celebrating its 50th anniversary throughout the year, with milestone events such as:
- Kicking off two events with over $50,000 in various prizes available to attendees 18 and over, some that were literally “up for grabs” with the premier of the New Jersey Lottery’s CA$HNADO, an interactive, prize-grabbing, everybody-is-watching experience;
- Giving away $40,000 in instant cash prizes as part of a massive Pick-3 second-chance promotion;
- Introducing the Multiplier Family of Scratch-Offs, a Scratch-Offs game series with the largest prize pool ever;
- Launching the biggest Scratch-Off ticket ever, Super 50, with 50 chances to win on each card; distributing gold 50th anniversary commemorative coins to players to highlight the 50th Golden Summer;
- Holding a Facebook live event in October to replace the canceled Balloon Festival where players were eligible to win prizes of Scratch-Off tickets and watch a launch of the New Jersey Lottery anniversary cake balloon;
- Boosting the Fast Play Progressive jackpot by $50,000 and awarding 50 players $50 in Scratch-Offs each week for 50 weeks throughout the year (2,500 winners!)
“This year has been filled with excitement, big wins and a change from live to digital events. Hopefully, it will allow us to be able to bring some good fortune to many people in an otherwise turbulent year. January started off with a bang when we were able to celebrate with hundreds of players from around the state. As challenges were presented, we met them with creativity and by pulling together as a team. We can’t wait for this last opportunity to surprise and delight our players this year,” said Carey.
The Virtual Anniversary Day Celebration will be held live on the official NJ Lottery Facebook page at 6:30pm on Wednesday, December 16. Participants are encouraged to enter for the chance to win prizes by responding to a question announced during the event, share lottery stories, answer trivia questions, and enjoy the entertainment.
For more information, visit our website at NJLottery.com. The official NJ Lottery Facebook page can be located here: https://www.facebook.com/NewJerseyLottery. Participants must be 18 or older to win prizes.