The Florida Lottery was established in 1986. Its proceeds are used to enhance public education in Florida. Tickets started being sold in 1988. The Lottery was so successful from start up that it returned its loans to the state only 17 days after the startup. FL LOTTO and CASH 3 were introduced in April 1988, FANTASY 5 was launched on April 1989, PLAY 4 in July 1991, and MEGA MONEY in February 1998. The Quick Pick option became available in April 1990 and the Advance Play option was introduced in 1993. In 1994, FANTASY 5 started playing five nights a week and FL LOTTO twice a week in 1999, when its matrix changed from 6 out of 49 numbers to 6 out of 53, generating larger jackpots more often. MEGA MONEY game also changed in time and increased its jackpot to $2 million. In January 2005 the Lottery introduced the lottery game GROUPER. By April 2005 the Lottery had more than 12,000 retailers in operation all over the state. The lottery offers now between 30 and 50 Scratch-Off games of various themes to choose from at any given time.
Florida Lottery provides educational funding for Florida’s school children. The proceeds from Florida Lottery ticket sales are transferred to the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund (EETF) and appropriated by the Florida Legislature. The lottery is involved in programs like Classrooms First and Classrooms for Kids, mentoring programs, literacy programs and many more. The lottery is committed to the state as a community. If prizes are unclaimed 80% of the sum is transferred to the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund.
FL Lottery tickets cannot be sold over the Internet, mail, phone or fax. Lottery winners cannot be anonymous. By law the Lottery has to provide a winner’s name, city of residence, game won, date won and sum won to any third party who requests the information. Yet FL Lottery winners’ home addresses and telephone numbers are confidential. In terms of prize claiming and their rules you should know that sums between $600 to $250,000 can be claimed at any FL Lottery District office or Florida Lottery Headquarters in Tallahassee; winnings of $600 or more require the completion of a FL Lottery Winner Claim Form and an Internal Revenue Service Form W-9 “Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification” form; and winnings bigger than $250,000 must be claimed at FL Lottery Headquarters in Tallahassee.
Winning numbers all off games are showed on local TV stations where you can also see the lottery playing games live. The drawing times are Eastern Standard Time (PM) 7:57, 11:00 and 11:15 depending on the game playing. You can check your numbers online at http://www.flalottery.com
Interesting things about Florida lottery:
1. The first week sales of the first ever Florida Lottery Scratch-Off game “Millionaire” exceed $95 million.
2. The FL Lottery’s first millionaire was Thomas W. Sawyer when he won the “Instant Game Million-Dollar Grand Prize Drawing”, held in Clearwater.
3. The first FL Lottery Scratch-Off game “WIN FOR LIFE” winner to get the $1,000-a-week-for-life grand prize is Barbara Arens, of Clearwater.
4. In 2001 Priscilla and David Miller, of Lynn Haven, won the then largest-ever MEGA MONEY jackpot of $1,199,517.
5. In 2003 an estimated $53.7 million FLORIDA LOTTO ticket remained unclaimed after the 180-day redemption deadline.
6. Florida Lottery gave over $17 billion to Educational programs and scholarships since it was founded.