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Nebraska Lotteries

In November 1992, 63% of Nebraska voters approved a constitutional amendment authorizing the creation of a state lottery. The Nebraska Lottery was established on 24 February 1993 by the Nebraska Legislature (LB138) as a division of the state Department of Revenue. It was the 37th lottery in the United States. Proceeds from the lottery are used to fund education and environmental causes and to fight gambling addiction.

Scratch tickets were first sold on 11 September 1993, and almost a year later, Lotto tickets went on sale on 21 July 1994. In addition to scratch tickets, the Nebraska Lottery offers in-state and multi-state draw games. The multi-state Powerball game was first introduced in 1994 and the multi-state game, Mega Millions, was offered in 2010. Video lottery is prohibited. Tickets may not be sold by vending machine, telephone, mail or over the internet.

In 2011, the Lottery offered two scratch games with interactive game components: $2 Frisbee Disc and $1 Skee-Ball. The Frisbee Disc and Skee-Ball interactive games give players the chance to play a "for-fun" game of catch or rounds of Skee-Ball in a virtual arcade. Players compete for the top score on the leaderboard each week. Both interactive games provide additional value to the purchase of a scratch ticket.

By law, the Lottery must return at least 50% of its gross sales to players as prizes. Currently, about 58% of the proceeds have been distributed for prizes. Eighteen percent (18%) is used for operating and marketing the games, and the remaining 24% is used to fund education and environmental causes and to fight gambling addiction. In 2004, voters determined exactly how the 24% should be spent by a statewide ballot. Amendment 4 of the Nebraska Laws prescribes that Education and the Nebraska Environmental Trust are given 44.5%; the Nebraska State Fair is given 10%; and the remaining 1% must be spent on the state's Compulsive Gamblers Assistance Fund.

There are approximately 1,200 retailer locations throughout the state. Nebraska Lottery retailers can be found in convenience stores, supermarkets and cafés, among other locations. However, lottery tickets may not be sold where businesses are licensed for the consumption of alcohol. Retailers are compensated by earning 5% on their gross ticket sales. Players must be at least 19 years of age to purchase and redeem Nebraska Lottery tickets.

On 14 May 2010, the Nebraska Lottery issued a request for proposals for an integrated network system and related services for instant and online games. After several weeks of review, it was announced on 11 August 2010, that GTECH Corporation had been selected as the contractor. The contract is for six years, with four one-year extension options. Under the terms of the contract, GTECH will provide all hardware, software, equipment and services related to the Lottery's instant and online gaming activities and play a key role in the Lottery's sales and marketing efforts. Operations began on 1 July 2011.
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