Our History

Link to a year: 1931 | 19321954  |  1957  |  1979  |  1980  |  1981  |  1982  |  1984  |  1986  |  1988  |  1989  |  1990  |  1991  |  1994  |  1995  |  1996  |  1999  |  2000  |  2002  |  2003  |  2004  |  2005  |  2006  |  2010  |  2011  |  2015  |  2016  |  Today

1930

The newly elected State Government, led by Jack Lang, introduce the State Lottery Bill to solve the critical funding situation in the state’s hospitals.

1931

The Lotteries Act is proclaimed on 22 June. Mr W. H. Whiddon, the former Commissioner of Taxation in NSW, is appointed the first Director of State Lotteries.

In August, the pavements are filled as people queue around the State Lottery Office to enter the first lottery. The first draws are conducted from a lottery barrel containing 100,000 wooden marbles, drawn out with a long scoop which can only hold one marble.

The first draw is conducted on Thursday 20 August. The winning ticket is held by Eileen Morton, a Manly housewife, who claims the first prize of £5,000 ($10,000) with a ticket she shared with her grandmother. With the prize money, Mrs Morton and her husband Jim build a house on the waterfront in Manly and have enough left over to take a cruise to Fiji.

1932

Three lotteries, with tickets costing one guinea each ($2.10) and a first prize of £20,000 ($40,000) are introduced to mark the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

1954

The £1 Mammoth Lottery with a first prize of £30,000 ($60,000) is launched.

1957

To finance the building of the Sydney Opera House, tickets in Opera House Lottery No. 1 go on sale. Tickets are £5 ($10) each with a first prize of £100,000 ($200,000).

1979

An exciting new lottery game called Lotto is launched. Lotto tickets are on sale throughout the state for two weeks before the first weekly Monday night draw, is held on 5 November. The draw is televised on Channel 9, using a ball drawing machine made by Hans Brosch Electrotechnick. The division one prize is $384,975, however no tickets have the winning numbers.

1980

Lotto makes its first millionaire on 17 March. Sam Fabio, a truck driver from Sydney’s western suburbs with four small children, wins the division one prize of $1,185,872 with a ticket purchased for $2.60.

1981

NSW Lotteries celebrates its Golden Jubilee, 50 years after the first draw.

1982

The method of drawing marbles ceases with all lotteries now drawn by an Australian-made random number generator.

Instant Lotteries (now Instant Scratch-Its) go on sale, with the first tickets costing $1 each with a top prize of $10,000.

1984

Following the success of Saturday Lotto draws, NSW Lotteries introduces the first mid-week Lotto draw on Wednesday evenings.

1986

A new Half Million Dollar Lottery costing $5 per ticket and a new Million Dollar Lottery costing $10 per ticket are introduced.

The last Opera House Lottery (draw 867) is drawn.

A once-off Peace Lottery is introduced to mark the International Year of Peace, with 150,000 tickets available for $5 each and a first prize of $250,000.

1988

The draw lotteries go ‘on-line’. The new computerised system enables customers to buy their lottery entries almost right up to the draw.

1989

NSW Lotteries is granted a license to conduct a new game – The Pools. This game, based on the long-running British soccer pools system, has already been operating in Victoria and Queensland. An Australia-wide Soccer Pools Bloc is formed, enabling the states to combine for larger prize pools.

The mid-week Lotto draw is moved from Wednesday night to Thursday night, and changes from a six from 40 numbers to six from 44 numbers game.

1990

Lotto adds a fifth prize division and a second supplementary number to the game structure.

1991

Instant Lotteries is renamed as 'Instant Scratchies'.

1992

NSW Lotteries launches a one-off Sydney 2000 Bid lottery to raise funds for Sydney’s bid on the 2000 Olympic Games, with 230,000 tickets available for $20 each and a first prize of $2 million.

1994

Australia’s first national game, Oz Lotto, is launched by the Australian Lotto Bloc. The multi-million dollar jackpotting game has a six from 45 numbers structure and six prize divisions. The first draw is televised live nationally on Tuesday 22 February.

1995

NSW Lotteries launches Lotto Strike, an add-on game to Lotto. Tickets cost $1 per panel, and the jackpotting division one prize starts at $100,000.

1996

Following the success of Oz Lotto, the Australian Lotto Bloc launches a second national jackpotting game, Powerball.

Midweek Lotto moves from Thursday back to Wednesday.

NSW Lotteries launches the Players Club plastic card.

1999

New South Wales joins the Australian Lotto Bloc for Saturday Lotto, enabling larger prize pools. The first draw is held on 16 December, and the first Superdraw with a division one prize pool of $22 million is held two weeks later on 30 December.

2004

An extra (45th) ball is added to Monday & Wednesday Lotto, bringing the game into line with Saturday Lotto.

2005

Oz Lotto restructures from six from 45 numbers to seven from 45 numbers with seven prize divisions and more prizes.

2006

Saturday Lotto’s division one prize pool increases from $3 million to $4 million.

New South Wales joins South Australia and Western Australia to make Monday & Wednesday Lotto a multi-state game. The first draw is held on 1 May 2006, with division one prizes of $1 million (Monday) and $750,000 (Wednesday).

2010

In April, Tatts Group acquires the 40 year exclusive operating licence for NSW Lotteries.

2011

The $5 Jackpot Lottery (now known as Lucky Lotteries Mega Jackpot) reaches a record-breaking $38.1 million before being won by a woman who purchased her ticket in Sydney’s CBD. The winner, a health care professional from the northern suburbs, said she would keep working and share her win with family.

2015

In August the Australian Lotto Bloc launches the first national game since 1996, Set for Life. Set for Life is a unique eight from 37 numbers game with draws conducted every day of the year and a 1st Prize of $20,000 every month for 20 years. The first draw is held on Friday 7 August, and the first winning entry is drawn two days later on Sunday 9 August.

Lucky Lotteries becomes a multi-state game with Queensland and Victoria launching the game, enabling faster jackpot rolls and additional prize levels.

2016

Lotto announces its inaugural partnership with Australia Day in Darling Harbour.

Today

As part of Tatts Group, NSW Lotteries continues operating lottery games throughout New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, turning dreams into reality for hundreds of players each year.