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TN Lottery

Creating a Lottery

Nov. 5, 2002:
Tennessee voters approved a statewide referendum to permit a lottery.
April/May 2003:
The Senate and House passed legislation authorizing the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation to operate games and generate funds for specific education programs in the state.
July 1, 2003:
Governor Phil Bredesen appointed a 7-member Board of Directors to govern the Corporation. 
Sept. 22, 2003:
The Board hired Rebecca Paul (now Rebecca Hargrove) as the first President and CEO.
Jan. 20, 2004:
The Tennessee Lottery began selling tickets.

Where the Money Goes

Updated January 2020

The Tennessee Lottery has raised more than $5.25 billion for education programs since inception.

  • Lottery-funded programs include a huge variety of scholarships and grants, after-school programs, and the Drive to 55 initiatives.
  • Since the fall of 2004, nearly 1.5 million grants and scholarships to in-state institutions have been awarded to Tennessee students.
  • Out of every dollar spent on tickets, the largest portion is used to pay prizes. Other portions are used to fund the education programs described above, pay retailer commissions and for Lottery operations.


  • First-day ticket sales, which began three weeks earlier than expected, totaled $10.8 million.
  • Total sales since inception are more than $21 billion.
  • The Lottery offers a huge variety of games, including more than 75 instant-ticket games and eight drawing-style games. New instant-ticket games are introduced each month.
  • Lottery tickets are available at more than 5,000 retailer locations in Tennessee. These retailers have earned more than $1.3 billion in commissions since ticket sales began.
  • Players have additional chances to win at the VIP Players Suite®. This popular program allows players to enter eligible tickets into drawings into the Play It Again! and VIP Rewards® Drawings for opportunities to win cash and prizes.
  • The Lottery reminds players to have fun, but to play responsibly.


  • The Lottery has paid players more than $14.5 billion in prizes.
  • A Munford player received a lump sum payment of $528.8 million after sharing the world record-breaking Powerball jackpot of $1.58 billion with a player in California and a player in Florida. This is the largest overall prize of the seven Powerball jackpot winners for the Tennessee Lottery.
  • Other Powerball jackpot winners in Tennessee:
    • $198 million, Hendersonville, July 2019
    • $420.9 million, Lafayette, November 2016
    • $259.8 million, Knoxville, June 2014
    • $144.1 million, Antioch, November 2015
    • $50 million, Knox County, March 2015
    • $25.5 million, South Pittsburgh, March 2005

More About the Tennessee Lottery

  • The Tennessee Lottery is headquartered in Nashville, with additional District Offices in Knoxville, Chattanooga and Memphis.
  • The Lottery has been recognized for its successful efforts to promote diversity within its workforce and vendor procurement practices and has exceeded all diversity goals each year since inception. The Nashville chapter of the American Advertising Federation awarded the TEL with a "Mosaic Award," which celebrates diversity in communications and corporate strategy.
  • Tennessee Lottery Player Service Representatives are available M-F, 8:30 am -5:30 pm CT. Just check which number applies to your calling area:
    • (615) area, dial 615-254-4946
    • (865) area dial 512-4946
    • (901) area, dial 466-4946
    • (423) area dial 939-7529​​​​​​​

          All other areas in Tennessee: 877-786-7529. Outside Tennessee dial 615-254-4946.