Charleston, W.Va. - The West Virginia Lottery is celebrating its 31st anniversary having produced more than $9 Billion in proceeds for the State of West Virginia. The Lottery has exceeded the most optimistic expectations from when sales began on January 9, 1986, with a single instant ticket named West Virginia Jackpot.
The West Virginia Lottery closed fiscal year 1985-86 with estimated sales of just more than $53 million and proceeds of $20 million that went to West Virginia’s General Revenue Fund. Today, the Lottery produces more than $1.1 Billion in sales each year from more than 40 traditional lottery games, racetrack video lottery, limited video lottery, and table games. The Lottery also generates an estimated $520 million annually for West Virginia.
“We are proud of the tremendous impact the West Virginia Lottery has made, and continues to make, in helping to support education, senior services and tourism in West Virginia,” Acting Lottery Director John Myers said. “I don’t think the most optimistic proponents of the Lottery Act could have imagined a return of more than $9 Billion in proceeds since inception. That is an accomplishment that all of our players, retailers and employees can take great pride in.”
Today, the State Legislature uses Lottery proceeds in a myriad of ways. Lottery proceeds are used to help fund new school construction, school improvements at every level, and the PROMISE Scholarship Program. They also help fund important senior services, ranging from nutrition to in-home care, that improve the quality of life of thousands of West Virginia seniors each year. Lottery proceeds are also used to help the state’s tourism industry, state parks, economic development, West Virginia veterans, and many other good causes.
In addition to the more than $9 Billion in proceeds to help support education, senior services, and the state’s growing tourism industry, West Virginia Lottery players have won more than $3 Billion in instant and draw game lottery prizes (this figure does not include video lottery and table games prizes).