ORIGIN & FUNCTIONS
Formed by constitutional amendment in 1972, the State Lottery Agency began operation on January 2, 1973 (Chapter 365, Acts of 1972, ratified November 7, 1972). Lottery tickets are sold and cashed in at sales outlets in licensed retail establishments throughout Maryland. Transactions are conducted through terminals connected to a computerized on-line real-time system. Revenues from the State Lottery are deposited in the General Fund of the State Treasury for the use of Maryland government. Lottery income is the State’s third largest source of revenue, after income taxes and sales taxes.
The State Lottery Agency conducts statewide lotteries for instant, daily, keno and lotto games, as well as a multi-jurisdictional game and two subscription games. The Agency also sponsors a three-digit daily lottery (Pick 3); and a four-digit lottery (Pick 4) twice daily. In addition, the Agency runs a pick-6-out-of-49 Lotto Game (minimum jackpots of $1 million) with twice-weekly drawings, and a 5-of-39 game called Bonus Match 5 ($50,000 top prize) with drawings Monday through Sunday. A bonus ball is drawn from the remaining 34 numbers for an extra chance to win.
Mega Millions (formerly The Big Togel Singapore Game) is a multi-state game with multi-million dollar jackpots and cash prizes. Players select six numbers: five out of 52 and one Gold Mega Ball number out of 52. Prizes are drawn on Tuesday and Friday evenings; the game costs $1 to play. Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Virginia, and Washington also participate in this game. Proceeds from Mega Millions and certain instant scratch-off games are designated for the Maryland Stadium Authority.
Official winning numbers are drawn on live television and are posted on the State Lottery Agency website. For the Pick 3 and Pick 4 games, they are drawn midday (Monday through Saturday) and evenings (Monday through Sunday). Evening drawings also are held for Lotto (Saturday & Wednesday), Bonus Match 5 (Monday through Sunday), and Mega Millions (Tuesday & Friday).
Prizes of $600 or less may be claimed through any retail sales outlet. Winning tickets up to $5,000 can be cashed at certain retail locations called Agents Plus. Winning tickets of any amount may be redeemed at the Maryland State Lottery Claim Centers in Baltimore and Lanham. Each outlet also provides how-to-play brochures and other game information.
With the approval of the State Lottery Commission and the Legislative Policy Committee of the Maryland General Assembly, the Director of the State Lottery Agency may enter into agreements to operate multijurisdictional lotteries with any other political entity outside the state or outside the United States, or with a private licensee of a state or other nation (Chapter 449, Acts of 2002).
The Director of the Agency is appointed by the Governor with Senate advice and consent (Code State Government Article, secs. 9-101 through 9-125).
Within the State Lottery Agency are seven divisions: Administration, Finance, and Operations; Communications; Creative Services; Information Technology; Product Development; Research and Planning; and Sales. The Agency also is aided by the State Lottery Commission.