Published: March 13, 2022

50 Years of Giving $58 Billion Back to Society Michigan and Pennsylvania Lotteries

Pennsylvania and Michigan Lotteries Celebrate 50 Years of Giving $58 Billion Back to Society

With more than $1 billion in profit generated last year, the Pennsylvania Lottery marks 50th anniversary

The Wolf administration marked the 50th anniversary of the Pennsylvania Lottery, and its economic benefit for older adults, with a visit today by officials to the Mechanicsburg Place Senior Center.

“As the Pennsylvania Lottery celebrates the 50th anniversary of its first ticket being sold, it’s important for us to celebrate all the good the Lottery has done for older Pennsylvanians,” said Secretary of Aging Robert Torres.

“Since 1972, the Lottery has generated more than $32.6 billion to help our commonwealth’s older residents. Here at the Mechanicsburg Place Senior Center, we’re seeing the daily positive impact of the Lottery and the programs it funds. Whether it’s a meal, socializing or health and wellness activities, much of it wouldn’t be possible without funding from lottery dollars.”

Mechanicsburg Place Senior Center received a $54,861 grant from the Department of Aging that was funded by Lottery proceeds.

This grant helped to pay for a kitchen renovation, which included the installation of new counter tops, cabinets, appliances, flooring and a sliding door that separates the food preparation area from the kitchen. The grant also helped the center purchase a new computer, an iPad, a projector and a projection screen for its members.

This grant is one example of how Lottery funds help Pennsylvania’s seniors.

“We are extremely proud of the fact that the Pennsylvania Lottery remains the only state Lottery that dedicates all of its proceeds to benefiting older residents,” said Pennsylvania Lottery Executive Director Drew Svitko.

“The tickets and games we sell every day fund critical services, including property tax and rent rebates, transportation, care services, prescription assistance, and local services including senior centers and meals.”

“We use the kitchen every day to serve lunch. We serve about 30 to 50 people daily. Between 15 and 20 members eat inside and the rest do a drive-through pickup in our parking lot,” said Nori Hoffman, manager of the facility.

“Mechanicsburg Place is family, we support each other, laugh and cry together and care for one another. We play games, bingo, exercise, line dancing and many fun activities,” Hoffman added.

“Our members share their talents with crafts and stories. We make sure everyone feels welcome and safe. Our building is a place to come, enjoy other people, have a meal and share their history. We rely on donations and grants to keep the center up and running. We also do many fundraisers throughout the year.”

Pennsylvania’s 52 Area Agencies on Aging, or AAAs, cover all 67 counties and serve as the local representatives for the Pennsylvania Department of Aging.

PDA has traditionally awarded grants like the one received by Mechanicsburg Place Senior Center through a competitive process based on the project and need of the center. Due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on SCCs over the past two years, the department has disbursed grant funding equally to the 52 Area Agencies on Aging to allocate among all of its eligible centers.

The Pennsylvania Lottery generated more than $1 billion for senior programs during the 2020-21 Fiscal Year. This marked the 10th consecutive year the Lottery surpassed the $1 billion mark in profit generated. Every day, Lottery funds provide the following for older Pennsylvanians:

  • Care services, including long-term living services provided at home, in the community, or in a care facility;
  • Property tax and rent rebates available through the Property Tax/Rent Rebate program;
  • Funding for the 52 Area Agencies on Aging, which provide services such as home-delivered meals, assessments and program referrals, ombudsman services, health insurance counseling, legal assistance, transportation, protective services and senior centers;
  • Low-cost prescription assistance available through the PACE and PACENET programs; and
  • Free and reduced-fare shared rides.

For more information about these and other programs for older Pennsylvanians, visit

The Pennsylvania Lottery remains the only state lottery to direct all proceeds to programs that benefit older residents. Since ticket sales began in 1972, it has contributed more than $32.6 billion to fund property tax and rent rebates, transportation, care services, prescription assistance, and local services including senior centers and meals.

Visit the Winners and Benefits pages at to review how much money each county receives in Lottery prizes and funding to benefit older Pennsylvanians.


Pennsylvania state lottery benefitting seniors for 50 years

If you watch the evening news on WGAL, it’s a familiar ritual – the music swells, the ping-pong balls swirl inside their glass cases and the jingle singers burst forth with “The Pennsylvania Lottery!” March 7 marked the 50th anniversary of the sale of the very first Pennsylvania lottery ticket which cost 50 cents. Established by law in 1971, the program has changed and evolved offering more than 35 different games during the past 50 years including Powerball, a multi-state jackpot game. The program also introduced us to Gus, the second most famous groundhog in Pennsylvania.

Regardless of your feelings about Gus, the good news for our office is that Pennsylvania’s lottery remains the only state lottery that designates all proceeds for programs that benefit older residents. Since 1972, thanks to all who play, over 32.6 billion dollars has been contributed to those programs. (

The benefits to those 65 and over include property tax and rent rebates; free and reduced-fare transportation services; the prescription assistance programs called PACE and PACENET; care services; and local services provided by the 52 Area Agencies on Aging including the Adams County Office for Aging Inc. (ACOFA)

But what does that mean?

For transportation through the shared ride program, it means the lottery pays 85% of the cost of any trip anywhere in the county for any person age 65+ who is registered to ride in the rabbittransit system. For certain “necessary trips” (medical appointment, pharmacy, grocery store, senior or adult day center, bank, laundromat, or human service agency) our office pays the remaining 15% so there is no charge to the rider. For any other trip (out to lunch, shopping, visiting, movie theater, etc.) the rider pays the 15% fee. That’s a pretty great deal and rabbittransit does a terrific job of moving people around our county and neighboring counties.

Under the PACE and PACENET programs it means the maximum co-payment for a prescription is $15. If you use an inhaler or eye drops, take Eliquis, Tresiba, or a myriad of other expensive brand name medicines, you know what a help that is.

At ACOFA under care and local services, it means our small but mighty staff of 13 full- and five part-time people are working each day, answering the phone, seeing people at our Gettysburg office, in the six senior centers and out at the homes of older adults receiving services. Anyone age 60-plus can come in for general information and assistance, receive answers to Medicare questions, get help completing a Property Tax/Rent Rebate or PACE application, request an assessment for in-home services by a care manager, participate in a senior center or caregiver support group and many other services. For a complete list, please visit our website at

Some services are provided using a sliding fee scale and some have income eligibility requirements, but many are available just because a person is 65-plus and thanks to the Pennsylvania Lottery.

Our complete budget at ACOFA is a combination of federal, state and local funds. Much of that money comes to us designated for a particular program. Since not all services fall within the categories funded under the Lottery list, we are very grateful for the donations and grants we receive that allow us to provide additional services and supports. We are especially grateful for the volunteers who assist with so many efforts that could never be covered by our small staff.

So if you play, we thank you. If you play in the future, we also thank you. As our former director used to say, “even if you don’t win, we do!”


For Fun. For Schools. For 50 Years: Michigan Lottery Celebrates $26 Billion for Public Education

The Michigan Lottery is celebrating 50 years of supporting public education in 2022. Since it began in 1972, the Lottery has contributed more than $26 billion to support public education in Michigan.

“Since it began in 1972, the Lottery has provided critical funding for public education in Michigan,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “The Lottery’s contributions to the School Aid Fund have helped us put Michigan students first, given life-changing prizes to countless players, and supported small businesses and communities throughout the state. I would like to congratulate Lottery players, retailers, vendors, and the Lottery team on 50 successful years. Together, we will keep investing in Michigan’s kids, improve their in-class experience, upgrade facilities, and set them up for a bright future.”

Following a ballot referendum on May 16, 1972, the Michigan Lottery was established by Public Act 239 of 1972, the Lottery Act, and began selling tickets on Nov. 13, 1972, for the Lottery’s inaugural game, The Green Ticket. The first weekly drawing was conducted on Nov. 24, 1972. Other Lottery milestones over the years include:

  • Feb. 22, 1973 – First $1 million prize is awarded to Taylor resident Hermus Millsaps.
  • June 30, 1973 – Lottery’s first School Aid Fund contribution totals more than $14.5 million.
  • Oct. 7, 1975 – First instant game tickets go on sale.
  • June 6, 1977 – Daily 3 game goes on sale at Lottery retailers through 300 on-line terminals.
  • Sept. 30, 1980 – Lottery’s School Aid Fund contribution tops $100 million for the first time.
  • Aug. 13, 1984 – The first Lotto jackpot game goes on sale. First-week sales of $3.1 million set a national record.
  • Sept. 30, 1994 – Lottery’s School Aid Fund contribution tops $500 million for the first time.
  • June 11, 1996 – Michigan joins Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Virginia in a multi-state lottery game called The Big Game. The first ticket is sold Aug. 31, 1996. The game is later re-branded to Mega Millions.
  • Oct. 27, 2003 – Tickets for the Lottery’s new Club Games, Club Keno and Pull Tabs, go on sale at bars and restaurants that have been licensed to sell these Lottery products.
  • Jan. 31, 2010 – The Lottery begins sales of Powerball, previously offered in 33 other lottery jurisdictions. The sale of Powerball tickets, in conjunction with Mega Millions, allows Michigan Lottery players the opportunity to win prize money in multi-state games four times a week.
  • Sept. 30, 2012 – Lottery’s School Aid Fund contribution tops $750 million for the first time.
  • Aug. 11, 2014 – The Lottery launches iLottery where players can purchase and play Lottery tickets online.
  • Sept. 30, 2019 – Lottery’s School Aid Fund contribution tops $1 billion for the first time.
  • Jan. 22, 2021 – A Michigan Lottery player won the third-largest lottery prize in history, the $1.05 billion Mega Millions jackpot. The winning ticket was bought at the Novi Kroger.
  • Sept. 30, 2021 – Lottery sets record with $1.419 billion School Aid Fund contribution and more than $5 billion in sales.

“For 50 years, the Michigan Lottery has shared in winning experiences,” said Lottery Commissioner Brian O. Neill. “Those winning experiences include prizes to players, revenue for public education, and revenue for local businesses throughout Michigan. We are grateful for the continued support from our players and strong partnerships with businesses across the state as we continue to raise needed revenue for schools.”

Beginning today, the Lottery’s beneficiary campaign, For Fun. For Schools. For 50 Years., can be seen throughout Michigan. The campaign focuses on the $26 billion the Lottery has contributed to the School Aid Fund since 1972, Lottery winners over the years, and other important Lottery milestones. You can view the For Fun. For Schools. For 50 Years. television spot here:

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