Now in its 44rd year year of operation, the Delaware State Lottery continues its winning tradition. Established games—PLAY 3 and PLAY 4—are still thriving, while POWERBALL®; and MEGA MILLIONS® with multimillion-dollar jackpots, LOTTO AMERICA® with it's ability to produce jackpots from $2 million and up, and Multi-Win LOTTO and Lucky for Life® with more chances to win, continue to attract new players. The Lottery offers a wide variety of Instant Games; it also operates Video Lottery games and Table Games at the three racetrack casinos: Delaware Park, Dover Downs and Harrington Raceway & Casino. Additionally, Sports Lottery and KENO® is offered at the three racetrack casinos and select Sports Lottery and Keno Retailers throughout the state.
Lottery dollars benefit everyone
By law, the Delaware Lottery generates income for the state's General Fund. The fund is a pool of money that finances a variety of state services. In this way, the Delaware Lottery helps pay for services that otherwise would require additional tax dollars. The Lottery—which has contributed $5.4 billion to the state's General Fund since 1975—contributed $215.8 million to the General Fund for the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2019. The Delaware Lottery remains the 4th largest source of revenue for the state of Delaware.
The Lottery's contribution to the General Fund helps to educate children and youth, protect neighborhoods from crime and pollution, maintain parks and beaches, ensure healthcare for families and seniors, and otherwise lend a hand to those in need. Legislators allocate money from the General Fund, with the governor's approval, to support these and other diverse state services and projects. Other sources of income for the General Fund are corporate and personal income taxes and various fees and tolls.
Unlike other state lotteries, which tend to target their revenues for specific efforts, Delaware Lottery revenues are not earmarked for any one group. This means the Lottery's contribution to the General Fund benefits all who live in, work in or visit Delaware.
As the Lottery grows, so does responsibility
The Delaware Lottery operates within the Department of Finance. With a staff of 58, it generates total revenue of more than half a billion dollars annually from Draw Games, Video Lottery, Table Games, Sports Lottery and KENO®. Tickets are sold statewide by a network of over 600 licensed Delaware Lottery Retailers. Retailers receive a commission for each Lottery ticket sold, a commission for cashing prizes in their store, and are eligible for an additional commission when a large prize or jackpot is paid on a ticket sold in their store.
To discourage people from spending more than they can afford, the state spends more than $1 million each year to fund programs and campaigns on gambling problems. A "Play Responsibly" message, which includes the Delaware Council on Gambling Problems' helpline number (1-888-850-8888), is on all Lottery ads, brochures and other printed materials, Web site and is posted on Lottery computer terminals and Video Lottery machines. The Lottery also prints an "It's The Law" message on tickets to remind customers that players must be 18 years old to purchase tickets for games. Players must be 21 to play Video Lottery, Sports Lottery and Table Games.
Celebrating a winning tradition
The modern Delaware Lottery started in 1975, after more than 100 years when no lotteries operated in Delaware. In the early 1970s, New Hampshire, New York and New Jersey implemented lotteries and sold millions of tickets. Following suit, Delaware established its State Lottery on May 31, 1974. The Delaware Lottery's first game started in March 1975. "LOTTO Superfecta" was a weekly game based on a live horse race at Brandywine and Harrington Raceways. In the following year, the first Instant Games were introduced.
A major turning point came in 1977, when Ralph F. Batch became Lottery Director. Batch streamlined operations and, with the state's approval, switched to a computer-based lottery gaming system. Based on the new system, the Lottery introduced the state's first three-digit game, Daily Numbers, which is now called PLAY 3. PLAY 4 started in 1980 and the LOTTO game was added in 1983.
In 1991, Delaware teamed with other lottery jurisdictions to establish LOTTO America, which in 1992 was changed to POWERBALL®. This Multi-State Lottery game offers players one of the fastest-growing multimillion-dollar jackpots in the country and is now the Delaware Lottery's best-selling game. Players pick five numbers from 1 to 69, and a sixth number from 1 to 26, to win a minimum $40 million jackpot. When players select the Power Play® multiplier option, they have the chance to have their non-jackpot winnings increased.
During 1995 and 1996, the Lottery introduced Video Lottery games, also known as "slot machines," at the three racetracks in the state: Delaware Park, Dover Downs and Harrington Raceway's Midway Slots.
In 2008, the multi-state game, HOT LOTTO®, was introduced. In May 2013, the jackpot changed to all cash with federal taxes paid.
In September 2009, the Lottery introduced Sports Lottery at the three racetrack Sportsbooks in the state: Delaware Park, Dover Downs and Harrington Raceway's Midway Slots. In August 2012, Sports Lottery was expanded to select Sports Lottery Retail locations throughout the state.
In May of 2010, Table Games was introduced at the three racetrack casinos: Delaware Park, Dover Downs and Harrington Raceway & Casino. Additionally, in 2010, the Delaware Lottery joined other states in the MEGA MILLIONS Consortium to offer the mega-jackpot generating MEGA MILLIONS game. On October 19, 2013, MEGA MILLIONS was changed to offer a $15 million starting jackpot (was $12 million), a $1 million second prize and up to $5 million on set cash prizes with the Megaplier option.
On February 2, 2011, the Delaware Lottery introduced its latest Delaware-only game, DELAWARE CASH 5® (DELAWARE CASH 5 was retired on January 24, 2015), and on January 22, 2013, KENO® was introduced.
On November 7, 2013, the Delaware Lottery was the first state to launch an authorized online gaming system in the country known as iGaming. iGaming's Internet casino-style games such as poker, blackjack and more, are available for play on the websites of Delaware's three casinos: Delaware Park, Dover Downs, and Harrington Raceway & Casino.
On January 27, 2015, Delaware was one of 14 other states to launch LUCKY FOR LIFE®, a $2 multi-state draw game. LUCKY FOR LIFE has a top prize of $1,000 a day for LIFE and a second prize of $25,000 a year for LIFE. The first drawing took place January 29, 2015.
On October 28, 2017, HOT LOTTO® was retired.
On October 28, 2017, MEGA MILLIONS® was changed to offer a $40 million starting jackpot (was $15 million).
On November 12, 2017, the Delaware Lottery introduced LOTTO AMERICA®. A $1 multi-state game, LOTTO AMERICA® will have a starting jackpot at $2 million with 8 set cash prizes.
On June 5, 2018, full scale Sports Lottery wagering was introduced at the three Delaware casino sportsbooks.
Updated January 2020