On November 6, 1984, the voters of West Virginia approved an amendment to the state constitution allowing for the creation of a state-run lottery. On January 9, 1986, the first WV lottery tickets went on sale, resulting in the sale of more than 1.5 million tickets on the first day. By fiscal year end, the WV Lottery closed with sales of more than $53 million, returning $20 million of those sales to the West Virginia’s General Revenue Fund.
The West Virginia Legislature uses WV Lottery proceeds to help improve K-12 and higher education through support of the School Building Authority, the West Virginia Department of Education, the Higher Education Policy Commission, education improvement bonds, and the PROMISE Scholarship Program. WV Lottery proceeds also contribute to improving the state's growing tourism and state parks and programs for West Virginia's senior citizens.