The Georgia Lottery was created in November 1992 by the people of Georgia to enhance education funding. The Lottery for Education Act created the Georgia Lottery Corporation (GLC) to oversee and operate the lottery.
Rebecca Paul was hired in February 1993 as the first president of the GLC. On June 29, 1993, the Georgia Lottery began selling tickets. First-week sales of more than 52 million tickets set a new opening week lottery sales record of $7.80 per capita. The Georgia Lottery was able to pay back its start-up line of credit within two weeks of start-up.
Within five months, the Lottery met its first-year sales goal of $463 million, and ended its first full year in operation with $1.1 billion in total sales. The Lottery's first-year per capita sales of $164.81 set a new national record, surpassing the previous mark of $128 set by Florida in 1988, effectively making the Georgia Lottery the most successful start-up state lottery ever.
That success enabled the Georgia Lottery in its inaugural year to return $362 million to the state of Georgia for education -- more than double the original estimate. In its second year, the Georgia Lottery recorded $1.7 billion in total sales, with more than $500 million going to education. The Georgia Lottery continued to break industry trends by increasing sales for twelve consecutive years. Margaret DeFrancisco was named as president of the GLC in December 2003.
The GLC has experienced unprecedented sales and returns to education in its 25-year operation. In October 2012, the Board of Directors of the Georgia Lottery Corporation named Debbie Alford as President of the GLC.
To date, the GLC has transferred more than $20 billion to the students of Georgia. This money has allowed more than 1.8 million students to go to college in Georgia on HOPE Scholarships, more than 1.6 million four-year olds to begin their education early in Pre-K, and has enhanced educational facilities with advanced technology preparing our students for the future. Gretchen Corbin was named President and CEO of the Georgia Lottery Corporation in 2018 by the GLC Board of Directors.
While the GLC's function is to raise funds for education projects, the revenue generated is allocated and distributed to these projects by the Governor and the General Assembly. Georgia Lottery Corporation proceeds are used to supplement, not supplant, traditional educational funding. According to a recent report issued by the State Auditor, general fund appropriations to education have increased since the Lottery's inception. Therefore, total state spending on education has increased significantly since the Lottery was started.
The largest single-day payout for the CASH 3 game occurred on January 2, 2000 when the numbers 777 were drawn. Players won more than $27.4 million.
The largest single-day payout for the CASH 4 game occurred on March 20, 1998 when the numbers 2222 were drawn. Lucky CASH 4 players won $9 million.
On July 22, 2016, one top prize winning ticket won $1,770,720 the largest payout to a single winner ever in the history of Fantasy 5.
On January 9, 2016, the GLC recorded its highest week of sales ever - more than $127 million.
On December 18, 2013, Ira Curry of Stone Mountain, Georgia was awarded the highest single payout in GLC history, claiming half of the Mega Millions jackpot of $648 million. Curry selected the cash option and received a lump sum payment of over $173 million before taxes.