Mary Harville has been appointed as the first female president and CEO of the Kentucky Lottery Corporation after former president Tom Delacenserie retired earlier this year.

This monumental announcement will see Harville become the sixth president and CEO of the Kentucky Lottery, an organisation that has been running for more than 31 years. She was confirmed by the lottery’s board of directors with Governor Andy Beshear officially appointing her to the role.

Kentucky Lottery Board Chairman, Mark Sommer, commented: “Based upon her many years of senior leadership with the Kentucky Lottery, as Board Chair I can confidently assert that Mary’s selection as CEO is a wonderful step in keeping the Kentucky Lottery moving forward to new and bigger heights.

“We at the Kentucky Lottery are most appreciative of Governor Beshear’s continued support of our education funding mission and of his appointment of Mary, who will be the first woman CEO in Kentucky Lottery history and one of only a handful of women lottery directors across the United States. We look forward to great things under Mary’s leadership.”

Harville joined Kentucky Lottery 16 years ago, serving as the corporate secretary, general counsel, and most recently, senior vice president during her tenure. Prior to working at Kentucky Lottery in 2004, she gained experience in a variety of commercial litigation matters and has practiced law since 1988 in Louisville and Jefferson County.

Throughout her law career, she successfully represented clients in contract disputes, copyright and trademark disputes, antitrust litigation, and employment matters. Harville argued cases before the Kentucky Supreme Court and the Kentucky Court of Appeals and was lead counsel on cases before the United States Court of Appeals and the United States District Courts.

Harville added: “I’m honoured and deeply grateful to Governor Beshear and our board for selecting me to serve as the next President and CEO of the Kentucky Lottery.

“I’m so proud to be part of the great team already in place, which is proven by our record-breaking fiscal year for both sales and return to our state. As a life-long Kentuckian and graduate of a Kentucky university, I am also proud to lead the organisation that funds KEES scholarships for Kentucky college students, and my goal is to ensure we continue to provide this much-needed funding.”