This could be your lucky day and not just because you’re reading this.
In Georgia, lotteries have been around since the 18th century. Indian lands were distributed through a lottery in the 19th century. Governor Zell Miller campaigned promising an education lottery, and in 1991 the legislature passed an amendment to Georgia’s constitution that designated lottery funds for education purposes only. Voters ratified it in 1992. Most of the lottery funds went to the HOPE Scholarship—helping outstanding pupils educationally, a college scholarship for high school graduates with a “B” average.
HOPE was designed to motivate high school students, keep Georgia’s best students in-state, and assist minorities and lower-income families. Lottery funding also expanded Head Start and pre-K programs. The lottery was an instant hit with Georgians--52 million tickets sold the first week, with $463 million in sales in the first year.
More than $12 billion have gone to Georgia students since Governor Miller bought the first lottery ticket on June 29, 1993, Today in Georgia History.
Today in Georgia History is a joint collaboration of the Georgia Historical Society & Georgia Public Broadcasting.