The Kentucky Lottery was created in November of 1988, after 60% of Kentucky voters cast their ballots in favor of a state-run lottery, although Kentucky had run an authorized lottery once before, in 1972, in order to raise funds to build a church in Lexington. Lottery ticket sales began on April 4, 1989, generating over $5,000,000 in sales on the first day. The first games available for sale were scratch-off tickets "Beginner's Luck" and "Kentucky Derby Dreamstakes."
Since the KY Lottery opened its doors in 1989, it has generated over $4.8 billion to the state, with $3.1 billion of that generated since 1999. Of every dollar generated from the KY Lottery, 61% goes towards prize payouts to players, 6% towards administration costs, 6% to retailers, and 27% to the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The Commonwealth of Kentucky contributes lottery funds to grant and scholarship programs to help defray Kentuckians’ college educational costs.