Windfall Willie Comes to the State Capitol Museum and he’s bringing the Arizona Lottery with Him!

  • By asaltford
  • Sep. 24, 2018

PHOENIX (September 24, 2018) – Arizonans are learning more than ever before about the Arizona Lottery at our brand new exhibit at the State Capitol Museum:  Celebrating Decades of Giving Back to Arizona.  Inside, visitors are seeing the evolution of our state’s lottery, from our earliest Scratchers® games and one of our first tumbler ball-draw machines, to the sophisticated electronically-generated draw games and exciting and beautiful instant-win tickets that we offer today.

The Arizona Lottery and our retail partners have generated more than $4 billion that went to vital programs and services, administered by several state agencies, that would otherwise rely on tax dollars to do the tremendous good that they do for us all. We are following another record sales year, with $981 million in FY18, that paid close to $213 million to our beneficiaries, including:

  • CASA:  The Arizona Lottery funds Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) volunteers, who are everyday people advocating for abused and neglected children in court.  CASA of Arizona and its volunteers have served more than 20,600 children over course of four decades. 
  • The Heritage Fund:  The Arizona Lottery is funding this effort to protect endangered species, acquire habitat for the benefit of sensitive species, provide access to outdoor recreational opportunities, and educate children and adults about wildlife. These nationally-recognized wildlife conservation success stories include the Bald Eagle Nestwatch Program, acquiring 18,000 acres of land for wildlife conservation and public enjoyment, the reintroduction of critical species to Arizona, and much more.
  • University Bond Fund:  These Arizona Lottery dollars allow the ASU, NAU and the UofA to build critical research and academic expansions while also maintaining older buildings.

Let’s not forget Windfall Willie, our Chief Fun Officer, who has been the face of the Arizona Lottery, on and off, from the very beginning, inspired by our state’s mining traditions as reflected in our State Seal.  Visitors are going into Willie’s office, which is loaded with amazing artifacts that he brought back from his travels around the world to find fun new ways for players to win big! Visitors are also learning about how Willie was created and about the role he has played in our evolution and ongoing success in doing good in our communities.

“We are so excited and proud to share our 37-year success story with the people of Arizona and with visitors to our great state from around the world,” Arizona Lottery Executive Director Gregg Edgar said, “This is a tremendous opportunity to educate everyone about our extensive history of giving pack to our community and our state’s extensive mining history.  Not to mention the opportunity to share Windfall Willie and his fun and entertaining story!” 

Displays, made possible through our partnership with the Arizona Mining and Minerals Museum, in Tucson, are also teaching visitors about Arizona’s rich mining history.  Tools and ore samples are bringing them closer to Wild West prospectors panning for gold in streams trickling through the mountains of Arizona, and to modern-day miners digging deep into the earth’s crust to recover the millions of tons of the copper we need to make everything from the lines that bring electricity to our homes to the very coins in our pockets.

This exhibit is free and open to the public during the Capitol Museum’s normal operating hours, Monday through Friday 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, and on Saturday 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Scratchers® is a registered service mark of the California Lottery.