Lottery passes $1 billion in sales faster than ever

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March 2019 was their highest sales month in history.  March sales were $116.1 million. This beat the previous record of $115.5 million, set in October 2018

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Kentucky Lottery passed the $1 billion in annual sales on March 4, that’s 247 days into the fiscal year and 73 days ahead of when the milestone was passed last year.

The Lottery first hit $1 billion in sales in 2017, when the landmark was met in the final hours of June 30, the final day of the fiscal year.

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“Given everything that’s happened this year, it took a herculean effort to achieve this goal as quickly as we did,” said Kentucky Lottery President and CEO Mary Harville. “With where we were a year ago, just starting to go into COVID lockdown, reaching this milestone as quickly as we have may have seemed impossible. But effective planning, execution and teamwork between both our tremendous retailers and our exceptional staff have driven our success this year.”

Harville said Lottery products being available all during the lockdown helped grow sales through the year, as tickets were sold at essential retailers such as gas stations and grocery stores.

“With limited entertainment options during the early months of the pandemic, players re-discovered Lottery games and have stayed with us,” she said.

According to Vice President and Corporate Controller Maggie Garrison, sales from July through February totaled $982.8 Million.

This is $251.3 Million (34.4%) more than for the same period last year, and $153.9 Million (18.6%) more than budgeted.

Net income before transfer of dividends totaled $219.7 Million, which is $56.1 Million (34.3%) more than last year and $39.0 Million (21.6%) more than budgeted. Operating expenses for the period are below budget and only 2.2% of sales.

January also marked the highest sales month in the Kentucky Lottery’s 31-year history and help drive these increases, according to Garrison. Sales in January were $159.5 Million.

Other records set during the month included highest monthly draw game sales ($63.5 Million), highest monthly iLottery instant play sales ($10.7 Million) and the highest overall sales week in history ($43.0 Million).

Garrison reported the year-to-date sales jump was led by Scratch-off tickets, which have increased 33.8% ($148.1 Million) for the period, from $437.8 Million last year to $585.8 Million this year.

The largest percentage sales jump was seen in the iLottery Instant Play product which is sold via the internet. Sales of these games jumped 322.8% ($47.7 Million) from $14.8 Million for the period last year to $62.5 Million this year.

In other business, the board approved rules and regulations for seven scratch-off tickets and four terminal generated-games, and approved or amended rules for 17 Instant Play games.

The next meeting of the KLC’s board of directors will be Friday May 14. The meeting will begin at 10 a.m. EST, and will be held virtually. The audit committee meeting will begin at 8:00 AM EST, and the procurement committee at 9:00 AM EST.