In 1973, the citizens of Maine voted yes to approve a statewide referendum introducing a Maine Lottery. The next year, on June 27, 1974, ticket sales began for a weekly draw game called "Play Me."
Since its first drawing in 1974, the ME Lottery has paid out over $2.2 billion in prizes to lottery players, $335 million in sales commissions to retailers, and has transferred over $1.24 billion to the the Maine State Government's General Fund. These funds are then used by the Maine Legislature to benefit Maine citizens, including general purpose aid to local schools, colleges, health services, and additional state programs.
Since 1996, the ME Lottery has transferred $18.85 million to the Outdoor Heritage Fund, which helps fund important conservation and wildlife projects throughout the state of Maine.