In 1976 a referendum was held regarding the establishment of a state run lottery. Public Act No. 82 established the Vermont Lottery Commission during the 1977 session of the General Assembly. The Lottery’s stated purpose in the enabling legislation was to “produce the maximum amount of net revenue consonant with the dignity of the state and the general welfare of the people.” In 1978 the Vermont Lottery Commission was granted $250,000 seed money. It took the lottery seven months from inception of the lottery to produce the first ticket and eighteen months to pay back the $250,000.
The first game (Green Mountain Game) went on sale February 14, 1978. The first instant ticket (Scratch 'N Match) went on sale June 20, 1978. The first online game (Pick 3) launched November 10, 1980.
From February 1978 to July 1998, all profits generated by the Vermont Lottery were dedicated for use by the state’s General Fund. In July 1998 the Vermont Legislature mandated that all profits from the Vermont Lottery go to the state’s Education Fund.
On June 7, 2018, during a special session of the legislature, H.7 (Act 1 of the special session) was passed by the General Assembly. The bill was signed into law on June 19, 2018 creating the new Department of Liquor and Lottery.
Today the Vermont Lottery continues to be run by a small, efficient staff of professionals consisting of 21 full-time employees, with oversight from five board members, who are appointed by the Governor and approved by the Vermont Senate. It is still one of the smallest staffs of any lottery in the United States.
The Vermont Lottery remains committed to contributing all proceeds to the Education Fund, while also strongly communicating the importance of responsible gaming.