The commonwealth began selling lottery tickets in 1972.
In 45 years it has become an indispensable contributor to the state economy. In the last fiscal year, the Lottery generated $979,797,001 in direct local aid to cities and towns.
Since its inception, it has returned $24.7 billion in net profit to the state and $6.3 billion to its network of roughly 7,500 sales agents.
But the Lottery is on a downward slide.