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A Look Back at the Oregon Lottery®

Quick Facts

  • The Oregon Lottery was established in 1984 by Oregon voters - in the midst of a severe recession - to jump-start an ailing economy and support economic development and job creation.
  • In the years since it began selling tickets, the Lottery has grown to become one of Oregon’s leading revenue producers while paying out over $20 billion in prizes to its players.
  • Since its inception the Lottery has continued to do good things for Oregon by transferring over $8 billion to support public education, economic development, state parks and watershed enhancement.


  • By law, at least 84 percent of total annual revenues must be returned to the public; of that at least 50 percent must be returned to the public as prizes and the remainder used for the public purposes authorized by voters.
  • No more than 16 percent of total annual revenues can be used for administrative expenses; currently Lottery administrative expenses are under four percent of revenue.
  • The Oregon Lottery is entirely self-funded, generating all of its revenue from its games, receiving no tax money or revenue from any other source.

Commission & Director 

The State Lottery Commission is comprised of five members appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. At least one of these members must be a Certified Public Accountant and another member must have at least five years of law enforcement experience. The Director is appointed by the same process and is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the Lottery and its employees. The Director also serves as the Secretary and Executive Officer of the Lottery Commission.

Oregon Lottery logos


The Oregon Lottery offers a wide variety of games, ranging from Scratch-itSM tickets to Powerball® to Video LotterySM games and more.

Historical Reference 

  • On April 25, 1985, the Oregon Lottery issued its first Scratch-it game. By November of that year, Oregon’s Game MegabucksSM followed as the first computer-operated lottery game in Oregon.
  • The Oregon Lottery introduced Sports ActionSM on September 6, 1989. This game was based on the outcome of professional football games. It was the first successful sports wagering game offered by any United States lottery. Players wagered on the quarter and final game scores, as well as special events such as fumbles recovered, etc. The Sports Action was offered during pre-season, regular season, and the play-offs, including the championship game. ScoreboardSM, a second game based on the outcome of professional football, was introduced in 2003.

    By 1992, the Oregon Lottery was also offering Keno, Powerball®, Daily 4SM, BreakopensSM (pull-tabs), and Video LotterySM games throughout the state. The Video Lottery gaming system served as a milestone, as it was the first 24-hour, centrally controlled gaming system in the country.

    Revenue generated by Sports Action and Scoreboard benefited intercollegiate athletics and academic scholarships at Oregon’s seven four-year colleges and universities. During its 18 seasons, over $36 million was generated for these schools.

    During the 2005 Oregon Legislative Session, a bill was introduced to amend Oregon Revised Statutes to remove the legislative direction to the Lottery to operate games based on the results of sporting events. This bill was approved by the Oregon State Senate and House of Representatives, and was signed by the Governor. Based on this legislative action, the Oregon Lottery stopped offering Sports Action and Scoreboard in January 2007.

    At the present time, the Lottery has no plans to resume offering Sports Action and Scoreboard. However, a future Oregon Legislative Assembly could ask the Lottery to begin offering sports wagering games once again as a means of generating additional revenue.

    Sports Action Scoreboard

Current Games 

The Lottery’s current product mix includes: Scratch-itsSM and draw games including: Oregon’s Game MegabucksSM, Keno, Powerball®, Mega Millions®, Pick 4SM, Win For LifeSM, Lucky LinesSM and Raffle℠. The Lottery also offers Video LotterySM games that include both poker and line games.

Lottery Proceeds

  • Economic Development - From 1985 to 1995, Oregon Lottery proceeds benefited economic development and job creation, as authorized by voters.
  • Education - In May 1995, Oregon voters directed a portion of annual Lottery proceeds to be used to finance public education. That ballot measure also established the Education Endowment Fund and dedicated 15 percent of Lottery proceeds to that fund. Voters amended the Constitution in 2002 to increase the amount to 18 percent and change the name of the fund to the Education Stability Fund.
  • Natural Resources - In 1998, the voters passed a Constitutional amendment requiring 15 percent of Lottery proceeds to be used for natural resources, with 7.5 percent going to state parks and 7.5 percent going to watershed conservation and salmon habitat.

County Allocations

In addition to the statewide allocations, every county receives a portion of total Video Lottery net receipts for local economic development projects.  

Current Organization

The Oregon State Lottery has four internal divisions:


  • Directors Office
  • Sales, Marketing and Retail Services
  • Security
  • upport Services

Director's Office

The Director’s Office is responsible for the overall administration of the Lottery, as well as external activities, operational support, public affairs, internal audits, rules and policies, retail contracts administration, liaison to the Lottery Commission and legislative matters.
The Director of the Oregon Lottery® is appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. The Director’s responsibilities include:

  • Overseeing the administration of the Lottery and its employees, as well as external and legislative activities 
  • Recommending annual strategic direction and budget to the Lottery Commission
  • Serving as the Secretary and Executive Officer of the Lottery Commission

Security Division

The Lottery contracts with the Oregon State Police to partially staff the Security Division, which also includes Lottery employees. The division oversees all security aspects of the games operations, as well as physical security for the agency. This includes ensuring the integrity of Lottery personnel, retailers, contractors, manufacturers, lottery games, drawings, winning claims and ticket validations. Security also performs background checks in accordance with personnel decisions and retailers. The division conducts investigations in the event of criminal activity against the Lottery. Ensuring the security, integrity, honesty and fairness of its games and operations is the Oregon Lottery’s top priority. The Oregon Lottery Assistant Director for Security is an Oregon State Police Major.

Support Services

Support Services provides a variety of essential services for the daily operations of the Lottery.

  • Information Technology (IT) provides technology support for the entire agency, including the Lottery's critical gaming operations functions, application development and integration, systems network and security services user support, quality assurance and IT project management.
  • Finance & Accounting is responsible for all finance and accounting matters including payroll, budget development and execution, accounts payable and receivable, Comprehensive Annual Financial Report and providing financial activity reports to the Commission, Governor and other public interests.
  • Player Services pays prizes, sells tickets and premium items, acts as the players’ liaison to the retailer and resolves prize payment disputes.
  • Human Resources recruits new Lottery employees, provides training to promote a productive work environment and maintains the compensation and benefit programs.
  • Procurement researches products, services and sources and develops interagency, interstate, intrastate and international agreements with other jurisdictions to purchase new items and sell used Lottery items.
  • Distribution manages all shipping and receiving for departments and external customers, performs maintenance and repairs on gaming equipment and provides inventory control;
  • Facilities maintains Lottery's building, properties and infrastructure.

Sales, Marketing and Retail Services  

The Lottery’s Marketing Department is responsible for product development and management, market research and analysis, promotions and game advertising. Services include:
  • Marketing Communications (Marcom) produces advertising support materials for television, radio, print, outdoor, POP, training, social media and public Web sites. Marcom is also responsible for developing programs and products that help minimize harm from problem gambling. Responsible gaming outreach materials are developed to educate problem gamblers - their families and friends - about how to access the free treatment available in Oregon. Throughout the year Marcom also develops campaigns showcasing the programs and businesses supported by Lottery profits.
  • Research manages data collected internally, through primary research, or from secondary sources to provide tactical and strategic consultation to the Lottery's product, retail, and MarCom teams. Areas explored include current/potential games, public opinion/awareness, retailer/channel relationships, lottery best practices, and marketing communications.  Research also works with OSL's Finance, Public Affairs, and IT departments to share the latest sales data, player trends, and emerging lottery issues internally and with the public.
  • Video Lottery product team is responsible for informing the Executive team and other key managers of emerging technologies, gaming trends and multi-year plans to develop the Video LotterySM product portfolio. Day-to-day responsibilities include, product planning and implementation, contract administration, addressing product issues for Retail Operations and Distribution, monitoring and reporting on product performance to various audiences and selecting new games and machines.
  • Traditional product team is responsible for game concept, development and delivery of Scratch-itSM products and draw games (Powerball®, Oregon’s Game MegabucksSM, RaffleSM, etc.). Traditional product team works closely with research, using both player and non-player surveys to identify trends that drive the creation of market-responsive games, including the licensing of pop culture themes such as board games, TV shows, music and other entertainment categories.

Retail Operations manages sales and service throughout the state of Oregon. The various aspects of retail operations include:

  • Field Sales Representatives provide product sales, marketing and promotional support for retailer establishments across the state.
  • Corporate Account Representatives manage support for large chain accounts.
  • Field Service Technicians provide maintenance, service and upgrades to all Lottery games and equipment.
  • Sales Specialists are responsible for promoting Traditional products to retailers and providing sales support.
  • Video Support is responsible for the installation of all terminals.
  • Retailer Services staff are available seven days a week, 20 hours a day from 6 AM to 2 AM, excluding Thanksgiving and Christmas. They answer all questions relative to the Lottery and its games, and all retailers’ requests for help and or information.
  • Retailer Training provides collateral materials, live instruction, and videos educating retailers on the latest products and sales techniques, consumer protection issues, responsible gambling and other retailer topics.

2011 - 13 Lottery Fund
Allocations by County >>

County by County Fund Distribution

See how Oregon Lottery® dollars are working for Oregon.
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Lottery funds support projects and programs throughout the state.

Oregon Lottery • 500 Airport Road SE, Salem, OR, 97301 • PO Box 12649 Salem, OR, 97309-0649 •
Phone: 503-540-1000 • Fax: 503-540-1001 • Email: