Virginia Lottery celebrates 25th birthday

9:32 AM, Sep 20, 2013   |    comments
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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia Lottery is turning 25.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch ( reports that Friday marks 25 years since the lottery started with its first game - a $1 scratch ticket called Match 3 with a top prize of $5,000.

The lottery has grown since to include more than 50 games at any one time - from dozens of scratchers to multimillion-dollar jackpots.

Virginia Lottery executive director Paula Otto says it takes a lot bigger prize to set off a jackpot frenzy today than it did in 1988. Wednesday's Powerball drawing was worth about $400 million, and Friday's Mega Millions is $145 million.

The games have created more than 420 millionaires, before taxes. In all, players have won more than $15 billion.

About $6 billion has gone to public education since 1999.

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