In November 1986, 60 percent of the electorate in a statewide referendum voted to amend the state constitution to allow for a state-operated
Lottery. In 1987, legislators authorized the creation of the South Dakota Lottery, its commission and the sale of instant tickets.
Match 3, The First Scratch Ticket
On Sept. 30, 1987, six months after the legislation was signed into law, the Lottery sold its first instant ticket. The Lottery repaid its
$1.5 million start-up loan plus interest to the state in three months.
For the next two years, Video Lottery was studied intensely by legislative and private groups. In 1988, legislation was introduced to authorize
Video Lottery, but the bill fell one vote short of the required two-thirds majority in the State Senate. In 1989, similar Video Lottery
legislation was introduced on behalf of the Lottery Commission and this time passed.
On Oct. 16, 1989, South Dakota pioneered the first state Video Lottery in the nation. In 1992, Video Lottery appeared on the general election
ballot as an initiated measure for repeal. South Dakotans voted by a 63 percent to 37 percent margin to keep Video Lottery. Shortly after the
election, a lawsuit was filed questioning the constitutionality of Video Lottery. The lawsuit eventually made its way to the State Supreme Court,
where on June 22, 1994, justices declared Video Lottery unconstitutional. In a special legislative session in July 1994, lawmakers passed a
resolution to place a constitutional amendment on the general election ballot to reauthorize Video Lottery. A court order to shut down Video
Lottery was handed down on Aug. 12, 1994. South Dakotans voted by a 53 percent to 47 percent margin to reauthorize Video Lottery. On Nov. 22,
1994, Video Lottery was restarted. On Nov. 7, 2000, voters defeated a measure to outlaw Video Lottery by a 54 to 46 margin. Voters rejected the
repeal of Video Lottery a fourth time in Nov. of 2006 by defeating an initiated measure by a 67 to 33 percent margin.
The South Dakota Lottery's third product line -- Lotto -- was authorized by legislators in 1990. Soon afterward, the South Dakota Lottery joined
the Multi-State Lottery Association to offer Lotto*America. In November 1990, the first Lotto*America ticket was sold. The multi-million dollar
game was replaced by Powerball in April 1992.
The Watertown 34,
South Dakota's First Powerball Jackpot Winner
In April 1993, Dakota Cash became South Dakota's very own cash Lotto game.
The South Dakota Lottery joined with Montana and Idaho in February 1994
to offer Tri-West Lotto. Tri-West was changed to Wild Card in February 1998 and revised as Wild Card 2 in May 1999.
Daily Millions was added to the
Lotto line-up in September 1996. It was replaced with Cash 4 Life in March 1998, Rolldown in September 2000, and Hot Lotto in April 2002.
The South Dakota Lottery began offering Mega Millions in May 2010.
The Lottery is a totally self-funded agency. No tax dollars are used for its operation.