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History ​& Mission

Lottery's Mission

Oregon’s lottery is both a public trust and a market-driven business. Lottery dollars fund education, economic development, state parks, watershed enhancement and gambling addiction treatment and awareness throughout the state.

The Lottery’s mission is set out in Article XV of Oregon’s constitution:

Operate a lottery with the highest standards of security and integrity to earn maximum profits for the people of Oregon commensurate with the public good.

The Oregon Lottery is the state’s second largest funding source after personal income tax, contributing over $9 billion to state funding since 1985. The organization runs a complex business that earns profits in a responsible way to reduce potential social costs, such as gambling addiction.

From Past to Present

  • In the midst of a severe recession, the Oregon Lottery was established in 1984 by Oregon voters to jump-start an ailing economy and support economic development and job creation throughout the state.
  • On April 25, 1985, the Oregon Lottery issued its first Scratch-it game. By November of that year, Oregon’s Game Megabucks followed as the first computer-operated lottery game in Oregon.
  • The Oregon Lottery introduced Sports Action on September 6, 1989. This game was based on the outcome of professional football games. It was the first successful sports wagering game offered by any US lottery. Scoreboard, a second game based on the outcome of professional football, was introduced in 2003. At the request of the Oregon Legislature, both games ended in January 2007.
  • By 1992, the Oregon Lottery was also offering Keno, Powerball, Daily 4, Breakopens (pull-tabs), and Video Lottery games (poker only) throughout the state. The Video Lottery gaming system served as a milestone, as it was the first 24-hour, centrally controlled gaming system in the country.
  • Current games in the Lottery’s product portfolio include Scratch-its, Oregon’s Game Megabucks, Keno, Powerball, Mega Millions, Pick 4, Win For Life, Lucky Lines, and Raffle, all of which are games whose numbers are drawn via computer and are known as draw games.
  • The Lottery also offers Video Lottery games that include both poker and Vegas-style line games. Line games were added to Video Lottery terminals in 2005.

Since it began selling tickets in 1985, the Lottery has grown to become the second largest revenue producer for the state, following income tax revenues and continues to do good things for Oregon. Since 1985, the Lottery has transferred over $9 billion to help support public education, economic development, state parks and watershed enhancement. It has also paid players over $28 billion in prizes.

30 Years of Doing Good Things

Good things by county

See how the Oregon Lottery helped your county during 2011 through 2013.