April 12, 2000: In the first step toward a statewide referendum to create a lottery in Tennessee, majorities in both the Tennessee House of Representatives and Senate approve legislation that would allow Tennesseans to vote on a lottery. A follow-up vote still is required.
February 14, 2001: This time, two-thirds of both the House and Senate pass legislation allowing Tennesseans to vote on a lottery. The referendum would amend the Constitution to permit a lottery to fund college scholarships, and, if enough funds are leftover, K-12 capital projects and early learning and after-school programs.
November 5, 2002: The statewide referendum to permit a lottery passes with 58% of the vote.
April 21, 2003: The Senate passes legislation authorizing the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation, a quasi-governmental entity, to operate games and generate funds for education.
May 21, 2003: The House passes legislation authorizing the TELC.
June 11, 2003: Governor Phil Bredesen signs the final legislation into law, officially creating the Tennessee Lottery.
July 1, 2003: Governor Bredesen appoints the first seven members to the Lottery's Board of Directors. Dennis Bottorff is selected as Chairman.
September 22, 2003: The Board of Directors selects Rebecca Paul, a nearly 20-year veteran of the lottery industry, as the first President and CEO of the Tennessee Lottery.
November 21, 2003: The Board approves the selection of GTECH and Scientific Games International as the vendors to provide online (computerized) and instant-ticket products and services to the Tennessee Lottery.
December 5, 2003: The Lottery approves the first retailers to sell tickets when the games begin.
December 29, 2003: The Lottery unveils its first instant-ticket games: Tennessee Millionaire, Lucky 7's, $100,000 Jackpot, Tennessee Treasures.
January 20, 2004: The Tennessee Lottery opens for business three weeks earlier than anticipated, netting an additional $30 million for education. First-day ticket sales totaled $10.8 million.
March 1, 2004: The Lottery launches its first drawing-style game, Cash 3.
April 15, 2004: The first transfer of Lottery proceeds, $63.7 million, is made to the Tennessee Lottery for Education Account to fund scholarships for Fall 2004
April 19, 2004: The Lottery joins the multi-state game of Powerball.
June 2004: The Lottery kicks-off its Summer Internship Program, designed for students of the state's historical black colleges and universities. The program is sponsored by the Lottery's three major procurement vendors and provides professional business experience, career development skills and an understanding of the specialized lottery industry.
June 26, 2004: The Tennessee Education Lottery hands over its first $1 million check to a lucky player from Knoxville at the culmination of Millionaire Live!, a half-hour televised event.
July 15, 2004: Over $59 million is transferred to the Lottery for Education Account for college scholarships and other educational programs, bringing the total amount generated for education since inception to more than $123 million.
August 29, 2004: The Lottery adds Lotto 5 as its third drawing-style game
January 20, 2005: The Lottery celebrates its first anniversary by announcing $863.4 million in gross ticket sales, which produced approximately $246 million for education in the first 365 days of operation. Players won more than $461.1 million in prizes and retailers earned more than $56.1 million in commissions.
February 5, 2005: The second Millionaire Live! event results in a Memphian winning $1 million at the conclusion of an exciting televised event.
March 11, 2005: After one year and seven weeks of operation, the Tennessee Lottery surpasses $1 billion in gross ticket sales.
March 30, 2005: Bobbi Hubbard, of South Pittsburg, Tenn., is the first Tennessee Lottery player to win a Powerball jackpot. Mrs. Hubbard shared the excitement and the $25.5 million prize with her family.
April 18, 2005: The Lottery adds Cash 4 to its line-up of drawing-style games.
July 15, 2005: The Tennessee Education Lottery transfers more than $59 million to the Lottery for Education Account, bringing the total amount generated for education since inception to $350.7 million. The Lottery also transfers an additional $8.9 million to fund after-school programs.
October 1, 2005: Two Tennessee friends share a $1 million Powerball prize, becoming the first to win this new prize level. The winning ticket matched 5-of-5 numbers. By using the Power Play option, the prize was multiplied from $200,000 to $1 million since the multiplier was five.
October 22, 2005: A Crockett County health management recruiter wins the $1 million prize in the third and final Millionaire Live! drawing event.
November 20, 2005: Cash 3 and Cash 4 midday drawings begin six days a week.
July 15, 2006: The Tennessee Lottery completes its second full fiscal year with gross ticket sales 18 percent above the previous year – nearly $1 billion at $996.3 million. In fiscal year 2005-06, the Lottery raised $269.8 million for the Lottery for Education Account and another $7.3 million for after-school programs – a total of $277.1 million. This brings the total raised for education since inception to more than $636 million.
November 20, 2006: The Lottery launches Hot Trax Champions, a new online TV monitor game that shows an animated car race among competing professional race car drivers.
January 22, 2007: The Lottery transfers $64.7 million to the Lottery for Education Account for the quarter ending Dec. 31, 2006 and marks its third-year anniversary by announcing a new grand total of more than $763 million. Part of the celebration includes the launch of Million $ Madness, a raffle-style computerized game offering the best chance yet to win $1 million.
February 6, 2007: The Lottery launches Play it Again!, an innovative program that gives instant-ticket players a second chance to play and win while helping the environment. Combined with other second-chance instant-ticket games, every Tennessee Lottery non-winning instant ticket now offers another opportunity to win.
July 15, 2007: The Tennessee Lottery ends its third fiscal year, with a record return of $284.2 million to education, bringing the total raised since inception to over $919 million. Gross sales for the fiscal year were over $1 billion, bringing gross sales since inception over $3.3 billion. Lottery funds were used to assist nearly 60,000 students at higher education institutions in the state, to fund 290 Pre-K classes, and to fund grants to 126 after-school programs.
October 24, 2007: Another major milestone reached! Continued strong sales pushes Tennessee Lottery's return to education to over $1 billion this week.
March 9, 2008: The Tennessee Lottery launches Lotto Plus, the state's own lotto game with jackpots starting at $1 million. In addition, the Lottery changes the name of Lotto 5 to Pick 5 and adds another prize level.
July 15, 2008: The Tennessee Education Lottery ends a successful fourth fiscal year with a record return to education of $286.1 million, bringing the total raised since inception to over $1.2 billion. Gross ticket sales were over $1 billion, making gross ticket sales since inception over $4.39 billion.
July 15, 2009: The Tennessee Lottery closes its fifth year with a return to education of $280.1 million, bringing the total raised since inception to over $1.4 billion. Since inception, gross ticket sales now total more than $5.48 billion, and the total paid in prizes has risen to more than $3.2 billion. Lottery-funded programs are now benefitting more than 100,000 individuals each year.
January 31, 2010: Mega Millions joins Powerball as the state's second mega-jackpot game. The launch was made possible following a milestone agreement between U. S. lotteries to allow the sales of both Mega Millions and Powerball in a single jurisdiction
July 15, 2010: The Lottery announces a record fiscal year with a return to education of $288.87 million, bringing the total raised since inception to more than $1.77 billion. This year's gross sales bring the total since inception to over $6.61 billion, while the total paid in prizes during that same time now stands at more than $3.93 bil lion.
October 3, 2010: The Lottery launches Tennessee Cash, which replaces the previous pick-five in-state lotto game.
May 5, 2011: The Tennessee Lottery announces it has surpassed the $2 billion mark for dollars raised for education in Tennessee.
July 15, 2011: The Tennessee Lottery sets new records for Fiscal Year 2011 with an all-time high transfer of $293.5 million to education programs in the state, and a record-breaking $1.19 billion in total sales.
July 15, 2012: Showing impressive gains across the board, the Tennessee Lottery announces record-shattering totals for Fiscal Year 2012, including a hefty $323.4 million raised for state education programs and more than $1.31 billion in total sales.
December 18, 2012: The Tennessee Lottery hits yet another milestone with the sale of its 100th winning ticket worth $1 million or more.
January 20, 2013: To help mark its ninth anniversary, the Lottery prepares to launch Win for Life, an instant-ticket game with a top prize of $3,000 a week—for life—with a minimum guarantee of $3.12 million.
May 12, 2013: The Lottery launches, HOT LOTTO, a popular drawing-style game featuring cash, lump-sum jackpots with withholding taxes paid by the Lottery.
July 15, 2013: Marking its ninth straight year of record sales with a Fiscal Year 2014 total of $1.36 billion, the Lottery transfers an all-time high of $339.7 million to education programs in Tennessee
October 9, 2013: The Lottery adds a morning drawing, Monday through Saturday, for two of its popular drawing-style games, Cash 3 and Cash 4.
October 9, 2013: The Lottery adds a morning drawing, Monday through Saturday, for two of its popular drawing-style games, Cash 3 and Cash 4.
October 13, 2013: The Tennessee Lottery has its first jackpot winner from the multi-state game, HOT LOTTO. Two friends from Dyersburg split the $2.2 million grand prize.
January 3, 2014: Bettina Still and her son, Jonathan, both of Nashville, Tenn., are the first Tennessee Lottery players to win a Mega Millions jackpot. Tina and Jonathan shared the $61 million jackpot, which is the largest prize to date in Tennessee Lottery history.
May 6, 2014: The Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation announced today that it has surpassed $3 billion in funds raised to support education-related programs in the state, including the HOPE Scholarship awards.
June 11, 2014: The largest prize in Tennessee Lottery history, a $259.8 million Powerball jackpot, was won by Knoxville native, Roy Cockrum, a former actor and Episcopal brother.
July 15, 2014: Posting its 10th consecutive year of increased sales, the Lottery reported $1.417 billion in total sales for Fiscal Year 2014 resulting in a contribution of $337.2 million for the education programs it funds.
October 19, 2014: The Lottery joins multiple states to launch MONOPOLY MILLIONAIRES' CLUB, a national drawing-style game with the potential to create more millionaires than any other game in lottery history.
March 21, 2015: Tennessee sees its third Powerball jackpot winner, a Knox County man who won $50 million after a stop at a Harriman convenience store.
July 15, 2015: The Lottery reports its 11th consecutive year of increased sales with a Fiscal Year 2015 total of $1.475 Billion, and a record contribution of $347.7 million to Lottery-funded education programs.
October 19, 2015: The Lottery joins four states to offer CASH 4 LIFE, a drawing-style game with two lifetime prizes--$1,000 every day for life and $1,000 every week for life.
November 4, 2015: For the fourth time, a Tennessee Lottery player wins a Powerball jackpot—this time a $144.1 million prize claimed by the Avondale Revocable Trust. The lucky ticket was purchased in Antioch at Hobson Tobacco and Beer.
January 13, 2016: Tennessee is one of three states to split an historic, world-record breaking Powerball jackpot of $1.58 billion—making it the state's second Powerball jackpot win in a row. The Robinson family of Munford, Tenn., claimed their share--$528.8 million—in the spotlight of the world's eyes just after the climactic drawing.
March 2016: The Tennessee Lottery celebrates the one-millionth education award it has funded.
April 15, 2016: The Lottery continues to shatter its own records announcing the highest quarterly return to education since inception. The period from January 1, 2016, through March 31, 2016, realized a record return to education of $119.1 million, a 27.2 % increase over the previous quarterly record of $93.6 million.
July 15, 2016: The Lottery closes its 12th Fiscal Year by shattering records throughout the 12-month period. With an all-time high for sales and proceeds for education, the lottery's total sales since inception top $15 billion and proceeds to education exceed $3.8 billion.
November 26, 2016: The "Tennessee 20," a group of co-workers at an automotive parts factory in Portland, win a $420.9 Powerball jackpot from a ticket purchased at Smoke Shop in Lafayette. The ticket is also the 200th sold worth $1 million or more since inception.
January 20, 2017: The Lottery celebrates its 13th anniversary with the announcement it surpassed the $4 billion mark for dollars raised for education.
July 15, 2017: The Lottery closes its Fiscal Year with a contribution of $386.7 million for all Lottery-funded education programs, bringing the total to nearly $4.2 billion since sales began Jan. 20, 2004.
August 13, 2017: The Lottery launches KENO To Go, a fun new drawing-style game with drawings every 5 minutes and the chance to win up to $100,000.
November 12, 2017: The Lottery joins 12 other states to launch Lotto America, a $1 drawing-style game with nine ways to win.
July 15, 2018: The Lottery reports all-time record high sales and proceeds for education, closing the Fiscal Year with a contribution of $421.7 million for all Lottery-funded programs, bringing the total to more than $4.6 billion since began Jan. 20, 2004.