On November 5, 2002, the statewide referendum to allow for the creation of a state lottery passed with 58% of the vote. In 2003, the state Senate passed legislation authorizing the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation to administer the lottery and generate funds for education.
In January 2004 the TN Lottery opened for business earlier than anticipated, generating an additional $30 million for education with first-day ticket sales totaling more than $10 million. Just a few months later, the TN Lottery launched its first drawing game, "Cash 3."
Since its creation, the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation has raised more than $4.6 billion for state education programs with more than a million TN Lottery-funded scholarships and grants awarded to Tennessee students.