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Pennsylvania Lotteries

The Pennsylvania Lottery was established in August 1971 with the enactment of Act 91. The following March, the lottery debuted with weekly drawings of 50-cent tickets and a grand prize of $1 million. The Pennsylvania Lottery remains the only state lottery that exclusively designates its proceeds to benefit older citizens. Proceeds originally helped the elderly with property tax relief. Since then, however, the scope has expanded to funding a host of services for seniors, including rent rebates, free and reduced-fare transit, low-cost prescription drug programs, long-term living services and statewide senior centers.

Initially, the Pennsylvania Lottery was mandated to contribute 30 cents of each dollar earned to businesses across Pennsylvania and 40 cents to players in the form of prize money.

In 2008, the legislature passed Act 53, which granted the Pennsylvania Lottery relief from the 30% minimum return. The Lottery was given the latitude to return a minimum of 27%, with the understanding that it would help the Lottery grow sales and net revenues.

In 2012, Pennsylvania decided to privatize its lottery and requested bids from organizations globally. In early 2013, Camelot Global Services was selected to manage the Pennsylvania lottery. The U.K. company had been the sole bidder in 2012. The bid deadline was extended more than a week to allow lottery employees to present a competing bid, which was not accepted. Camelot would have paid $34 billion over 20 years to the Pennsylvania state government to operate the lottery. But in late 2013, Gov. Tom Corbett dropped the plan in the face of intense political pressure and strong opposition from voters.

The PA lottery is still operated by the state.
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