Kentucky Lottery hits jackpot with record sales

Kentucky

KENTUCKY (WOWK) The Kentucky Lottery Corporation has posted record sales for the fiscal year 2020.

The Kentucky Lottery Corporation had total sales of $1,203,442,000, which is $73.8 million (6.2%) more than the previous record set in the 2019 fiscal year.

Cash transfers totaled $278.5 million, of which $271.4 million went to the state’s general fund to pay for college scholarships, grants and education programs, and $7.1 million from unclaimed prizes to the KEES Reserve Fund. The general funds transfers were $7.5 million and 2.8% more than last year.

Scratch-off tickets were the largest individual game category, finishing the year at $741.1 million. This is a $71.9 million (10.7%) increase from the previous year.

Internet lottery sales also showed significant growth throughout the year, due in large part to sales during stay at home orders as a result of the pandemic. iLottery sales finished 2020 fiscal year at $45 million, an increase of $18.2 million (68%). Internet sales comprise 3.7% of total sales.

Kentucky’s Pick 3 game posted the largest draw game dollar increase in sales, rising $17.5 million (11.7%) to $167.3 million. Pick 4 was the largest draw game percentage sales increase for the year of 14.2%. This translated into sales for the game of $50.9 million, up to $6.3 million from the 2019 fiscal year. 

A pair of new draw games launched in 2020 fiscal year Fast Play and Cash Pop accounted for $17.9 million in additional sales.

Keno sales saw a decline from last year’s record-setting pace. Sales for this game dropped by $5.4 million (6.4%) to $78.8 million. This was due in large part to more than 200 retailers who sold the game having to shut their doors in March due to the pandemic, combined with the shutdown of all Keno monitors across Kentucky for close to two months to prevent social gathering.

The lack of large jackpots led to sales declines in the multistate Powerball and Mega Millions games. Powerball dropped $23.6 million (32.1%) to $49.9 million, while Mega Millions dropped $26.1 million (41.4%) to $37.0 million. Mega Millions sales in the 2019 fiscal year  were much higher due in large part to a world-record $1.5 billion jackpot in Oct. 2018. Powerball sales in the 2019 fiscal year were also higher due to two large Powerball jackpots of over $600 million.

The higher sales and transfers led to more funding for the college scholarships and grants paid for by Lottery proceeds, as acknowledged by Gov. Andy Beshear during his July 22, briefing.

“Now I know there are people out there talking about taking a gap year about not necessarily moving forward with their education in the midst of this pandemic. I would highly encourage you to make sure you were taking advantage of these programs with historic amounts of aid out there. Making sure we get a more educated and skilled population is one way that we also become stronger and that if we ever see a pandemic like this again, we will not be hit as hard as we have been hit.”

Gov. Andy Beshear, D-Kentucky

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