Kentucky Lottery

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Kentucky Lottery's headquarters in Louisville's Portland neighborhood

The Kentucky Lottery, consisting of various games of chance, is a government-regulated form of gambling. The Lottery began in April 1989 after a November 1988 vote in which over 60% of voters cast ballots in favor of it.[1] On April 4, 1989, ticket sales began with first day sales of over $5 million for the two available instant games. The first two games were scratch-off tickets, Beginner's Luck ($1) and Kentucky Derby Dreamstakes ($2).[1] The minimum age to play is 18.

Kentucky will be part of the launch of Monopoly Millionaires' Club in October 2014.


The first legally authorized lottery in Kentucky was held in 1792 in order to raise funds to build a church in Lexington.[2]

The Lottery was a highly debated topic in the gubernatorial race of 1987. Wallace G. Wilkinson, who went on to become governor, touted the introduction of a state lottery in a heavily funded campaign that ended up being one of the biggest gubernatorial victories in Kentucky history.

As the incumbent Lieutenant Governor, Steve Beshear opposed the lottery in the 1987 race. Ironically, 20 years later, Beshear became Governor-Elect after running on a platform in support of legalized gambling in Kentucky in the 2007 race against Ernie Fletcher.

Draw games[edit]

Kentucky-only games[edit]

Pick 3[edit]

Pick 3 is drawn 13 times weekly (one drawing Sundays). Prices, prizes, and options very. A 50¢ straight bet can win $300.

Pick 4[edit]

Pick 4 is also drawn 13 times weekly. Prices, prizes, and options vary. The maximum prize is $2,500 on a 50¢ straight ticket.

Cash Ball[edit]

Kentucky Cash Ball is drawn daily, except Sundays. Cash Ball uses a 4+1 matrix (Mega Millions and Powerball each use a 5+1 matrix). Cash Ball draws four numbers from 1 through 33, followed by the Cash Ball (numbered 1 through 31). Players can choose: two games for $1, with a top prize of $100,000; or $1 per game, for a top prize of $200,000. Additionally, Cash Ball has a Kicker option; players can wager an additional 50 cents to win $5,000, or $1 to win $10,000.

5 Card Cash[edit]

The final 3 Line Lotto drawing was February 10, 2012; it was replaced by 5 Card Cash, a poker-themed game, which also is $2 per play and drawn by RNG. (A similar game had been offered in Delaware.) 5 Card Cash is a draw game where players can win instantly if the five "cards" make up a ranked poker hand.)

Multi-state games[edit]

Mega Millions[edit]

Main article: Mega Millions

Mega Millions began in 1996 as The Big Game. Six years later, the game added Mega Millions to its name; months later, The Big Game name was retired. Kentucky joined Mega Millions on January 31, 2010 as part of the game's biggest expansion.

Decades of Dollars[edit]

Main article: Decades of Dollars

Kentucky, Georgia, and Virginia launched Decades of Dollars on January 30, 2011; its first drawing was four days later. (Arkansas joined on May 3.) Decades of Dollars is drawn Mondays and Thursdays; it replaced Win for Life in Kentucky. (Georgia left WFL in winter 2014, with Virginia retiring the game in September 2014.)

Unlike WFL, where most winners automatically received annuity payments, Decades of Dollars winners can choose cash ($4,000,000) or 30 equal yearly payments totaling $7,500,000. Top-prize liability is $10,000,000 cash.

Arkansas, Georgia, and Kentucky will end sales of DoD after the October 16, 2014 drawing; the three states will participate in the launch of Monopoly Millionaires' Club on October 19. (DoD will become a Virginia-only game.)


Since 1991, Kentucky has been a member of the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL) which is best known for Powerball; the game began in 1992. Powerball's jackpots begin at $20 million; it is drawn Wednesday and Saturday nights. On October 13, 2009 the Mega Millions consortium and MUSL reached an agreement in principle to cross-sell Mega Millions and Powerball in US lottery jurisdictions. Jackpot winners in Powerball can choose cash in lieu of the yearly payments.

Monopoly Millionaires' Club (future)[edit]

Monopoly Millionaires′ Club will begin sales October 19, 2014 with draws Fridays beginning October 24. Kentucky will participate in the launch of the quasi-national game. Other lotteries will include that of Arkansas and Georgia; the three states will pull out of Decades of Dollars when Millionaires′ Club begins.

Other games[edit]


  1. ^ a b David H. Eaton (September 2000). "Kentucky Lottery". Murray State University, College of Business and Public Affairs. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-06-15. 
  2. ^ Collins, Lewis (1877). History of Kentucky. p. 182. 

External links[edit]