The New Jersey Lottery has been making dreams come true for almost 40 years. Of course, they have also been dashing hopes and depleting paychecks for almost 40 years, too.
The first tickets were sold on December 16, 1970, when 2,000 agents opened for the first time. Within two weeks, six million tickets were sold. Today, there are 6,100 ticket agents and what began as one weekly drawing has now turned into 39 drawings a week for six separate games.
There is no denying that the money generated to help education and other institutions helps the state a lot. We like to play the occasional ticket when there is a big jackpot or take a quarter and play a few scratch-offs. There is a certain thrill there. However there is nothing more annoying when I am trying to buy a Coke Zero at the local Quick Chek than to have some disheveled person holding a paper reading off tons of Pick 3 and Pick 4 numbers while the line grows behind me. Gambling is a tough addiction.
Inside Jersey magazine has written a very good piece on the history of the New Jersey Lottery and what they are up to there days. You can read it here.
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