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Former draw games

Monopoly Millionaires’ Club

The New York Lottery was among 22 states and the District of Columbia to launch Monopoly Millionaires’ Club (MMC) on October 19, 2014. Drawings were Fridays from October 24 through December 26.

Poor sales, mostly because of player confusion, were blamed. The MMC game returned as a $5 scratchcard game in spring 2015. A television game show was produced for MMC players who won a trip to Las Vegas. Episodes began broadcasting beginning in late March. MMC scratchcard players also are eligible to appear on the game show, hosted by Billy Gardell.

Sweet Million

Sweet Million (which ran from 2009 to 2014) was drawn Monday and Thursday nights. Players could choose (or have the terminal select) six numbers for each $1 game. Six numbers were drawn from a pool of 40 numbers. Matching three numbers would win $3, four numbers, $40, five numbers, $500. Matching all six numbers wins $1,000,000, payable in a lump sum; in the unlikely event there were more than five top-prize winners, they split $5,000,000 (the highest number of tickets winning in a given drawing was two.) The payout percentage in Sweet Million was 50%.

The final Sweet Million drawing was on June 12, 2014, after which it was replaced by Cash4Life.

Millennium Millions

Prior to the New York Lottery’s entry into Mega Millions, the Lottery offered two series of «Millennium Millions» drawings (December 31, 1999; and three in 2000.) Its structure was similar to Mega Millions in that players chose five numbers out of one pool, and a sixth number from a second pool. Both jackpots were at least $100 million when they were won (both jackpots were the largest offered by the Lottery at the time). Unlike regular jackpot games, Millennium Millions was unique in that when the jackpot was won, the drawing to be held the following week was not offered (as such, there was no advance play for the game.) There were no Millennium Millions drawings in 2001, as the New York Lottery approved legislation for joining what is now known as Mega Millions.

Millennium Millions differed from Mega Millions in that plays were $2 each (at the time The Big Game’s play was $1), all prizes were pari-mutuel, and that there was no prize for matching only the «Millennium Ball». The game’s double matrix was 5/50 + 1/25, identical to the then-The Big Game, which became The Big Game Mega Millions when New York joined.

Lucky Day

A game briefly available in the late 1990s where players tried to pick the date, month, and year of a day in the 20th century. The game was the only Lottery draw game (except for Quick Draw and Monopoly Millionaire′s Club in that its drawings were held on a computer instead of using manual balls; Lucky Day also gave a sole top-prize winner the option of a «bonus prize» in lieu of part of the cash.

Local Lotto

Players chose six numbers from a field of 31. The game was «marketed» under four different names based on the region the ticket was sold («Big Apple», «Long Island,» «Upstate», and «Western New York»).


Prior to the 20th century, lotteries were used in New York to raise revenue for non-educational needs. New York City Hall was built in part with lottery proceeds. Other lotteries helped build and repair canals, roads, ferries, and bridges. Lotteries also were held for non-public needs. They helped develop New York City’s manufacturing industries. Churches were built, rebuilt, or improved with lottery funds.

On November 8, 1966, New Yorkers voted to approve a constitutional amendment authorizing a government-run lottery. The referendum passed with over 60% in favor. The proceeds of the Lottery were to be «applied exclusively to, or in aid or support of education.» In 1967, the New York Legislature created a Division of the Lottery and a Lottery Commission within the Department of Taxation and Finance. The Lottery later became an autonomous unit within the Department of Taxation and Finance. Under the New York State Lottery for Education Law, the director of the Division of the Lottery has full authority over the administration of the Lottery.

Magazine stand selling New York Lottery tickets in 1974.

The Lottery began in 1967; its first slogan was «Your Chance of a Lifetime to Help Education». It has generated over $34 billion in aid to education revenue. The original intent of the lottery was to provide funds for education.

New York governor Hugh Carey suspended sales for about nine months in 1975-76 due to a scandal involving unsold tickets being selected as winners. Another scandal in 1986 involved state employees manipulating mail-in tickets in a mail room to result in over $40,000 in winning to friends and family.

The first big winner of the Lottery was Lou Eisenberg, who won $5 million in 1981; in that era, winners could not choose cash in lieu of annuity payments.

An agreement between Mega Millions and Powerball was reached in October 2009. All lotteries then with either game were allowed to sell tickets for both games beginning January 31, 2010; New York was among those which joined the «other» game on that date.

On February 1, 2013, the Lottery’s operations were merged with that of the New York State Racing and Wagering Board to form the New York State Gaming Commission.

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