Michigan Lottery History & Timeline

Michigan is currently taking steps towards legalization sports betting. Online casinos and poker rooms are expected to be legalized soon as well. For the time being though, residents of Michigan are limited to the Michigan Lottery as their only form of online gambling.

Michigan Lottery History

Under the McCauley-Traxler-Law-Bowman-McNeely Lottery Act, the Michigan Lottery was established in 1972 in order to produce revenue for the state education fund. The lottery started with 50-cent ticket sales with the first weekly drawing held on November 24. In 1975 the Michigan Lottery introduced instant tickets. Two years later in 1977, they introduced the state’s first numbers game (Daily 3).

In 1981 they added Daily 4 numbers games. The Michigan Lotto began in 1984 and set a national record with $3.1 million in first-week sales. In 1996, Michigan launches “The Big Game” (now called the Mega Millions). The multi-state lottery game was done in conjunction with Illinois, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Virginia.

The Lottery has contributed nearly $21 billion to education in Michigan since its inception in 1972.

Michigan Online Lottery History/Timeline

Before the idea of an online lottery even came to Michigan, Senator Mike Green was proposing legislation to prohibit the Michigan Lottery from selling tickets online. Green said he put the bill together due to lottery officials inquiring about the possibility of online ticket sales.


In April, then-Governor Rick Snyder proposed the idea of online lottery sales. Snyder claimed that an iLottery could bring in over $470 million in the next seven years for state education. Synder asked lawmakers to approve $3.4 million in funding to create an iLottery. Lawmakers eventually denied his request.

State Senator Rick Jones followed in Green’s footsteps and introduced a bill to prohibit online lottery sales. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette expressed the same concerns as Greene with online lottery sales, citing gambling addiction as the main concern.

While Synder’s funding request was denied, the Michigan Lottery dipped into its own budget to create an online platform. Lottery officials claimed that the iLottery would increase contributions to the state School Aid Fund by $480 million over the next eight years, close to the projections that Snyder claimed.


The Michigan Lottery soft-launched online lottery sales in August, making them the third state with an online lottery (Illinois and Georgia). The Michigan iLottery officially launched that November. Players are able to buy instant Keno and scratch-off from their phones, computers, or tablets.


In January, the lottery announced plans to release draw games like Mega Millions and Powerball online. In February, the first $1 million winner in Michigan Online history won on a $20 scratch-off game.

The Michigan Lottery expanded its Players Club to include online gaming. As of May 2015, more than 133,000 online iLottery accounts were created. More than 300,000 instant tickets are sold daily.

The Gun Lake Tribe stopped making payments to the state from its gaming operations at their Gun Lake Casino. They claimed that the state broke a 2007 compact when the Michigan Lottery started online sales.


Draw games are officially added to the Michigan iLottery. Players are now able to purchase games like Powerball and Mega Millions online.

Success of iLottery

In July of 2016, a Michigan resident won $1 million on the Powerball from purchasing an online ticket. As of October 2016, lottery officials claim that over 414,000 accounts have been registered to play online. In December, the Lottery Consultant Digital Gaming Group released a report showing how successful that the Michigan iLottery has been. It also showed that brick-and-mortar sales were unaffected as they were setting records for sales and profits at the same time. As a result of their success other states such as PA have launched their own iLottery. Lineups.com has a PA Lottery bonus code for new PA users.

During the first fiscal year of the ILottery, instant ticket sales accounted for 2/3 of sales, around $98 million. During the same time, brick-and-mortar sales for instant tickets increased over $100 million. Keno sales accounted for $49 million in sales for the iLottery and they increased by $30 million at brick-and-mortar locations. Halfway through the second fiscal year of the Michigan iLottery, a study concluded that retail sales were on pace to set all-time records once again.

Other States Looking For Same Success

There are currently six states, along with Michigan, that currently offer online lottery games.

– Illinois (March 2012)
– Georgia (November 2012)
– Michigan (August 2014)
– Kentucky (April 2016)
– New Hampshire (September 2017)
Pennsylvania (May 2018)

– Minnesota also had an online lottery back in 2014, but in 2015 Minnesota Lawmakers voted to make online lottery sales illegal.

With the rise in techonology, we can expect more and more states to start pushing towards legalizing online lottery gaming. New Jersey is proving that online sports betting is the key to success. It is only a matter of time before more states start to realize that will also transition to online lottery sales as well.

Calvin is a sports betting enthusiast that has been in the business for over 10 years. He has created successful betting formulas for seven different sports. way too serious Packers, Mets, and Avalanche fan that hates everything Pittsburgh, despite living there.

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