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Kentucky Lottery sales set records in 2020 fiscal year; total sales of $1.2 billion a 6.2 percent increase

The Kentucky Lottery Corporation has posted record sales and dividend numbers for FY20. These include:

-Total sales of $1,203,442,000, which is $73.8 million (6.2 percent) more than the previous record set in FY19.

-Cash transfers totaled $278.5 million, of which $271.4 million went to the General Fund to pay for college scholarships, grants and education programs, and $7.1M from unclaimed prizes to the KEES Reserve Fund. The General Fund transfers were $7.5 million and 2.8 percent more than last year.

Both of these numbers are record levels in the Lottery’s 31-year history.

These 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 in his July 22 news briefing. “Now I know there’s people out there talking about taking a gap year about not necessarily moving forward with their education in the midst of this pandemic,” he said. “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 in and that if we ever see a pandemic like this again, we will not be hit as hard as we have been hit.”

Scratch-off tickets once again were the largest individual game category, finishing the year at $741.1 million. This is a $71.9 million (10.7 percent) 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. The iLottery sales finished FY20 at $45.0 million, an increase of $18.2 million (68 percent). Internet sales continue to be a modest amount of overall business, comprising 3.7 percent of total sales.

Kentucky’s venerable Pick 3 game posted the largest draw game dollar increase in sales, rising $17.5 million (11.7 percent) to $167.3 million. Pick 4 posted the largest draw game percentage sales increase for the year of 14.2 percent. That translated into sales for the game of $50.9 million, up $6.3 million from FY19. A pair of new draw games launched in FY20 – 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 percent) 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 the state 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 percent) to $49.9 million, while Mega Millions dropped $26.1 million (41.4 percent) to $37.0 million. For context, Mega Millions sales in FY19 were much higher due in large part to a world-record $1.5 billion jackpot in October 2018. Powerball sales in FY19 were also higher due to two large Powerball jackpots of over $600 million.

“This was truly a successful year for not only the Commonwealth, but players and retailers as well,” said Kentucky Lottery Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Howard Kline. “Our players saw a record $801.2 million in prizes paid, while our hard-working retailers realized a record-setting $71 million in commissions. From a situation where things initially looked like they could turn bleak, we ended up with a win-win all the way around.”

“The start to the new fiscal year looks very promising, but we’re in uncharted waters,” said Kentucky Lottery Interim President and CEO Marty Gibbs. “The continuing pandemic – and its effects on the economy – do create some level of uncertainty moving forward. We’ll continue to provide fun and entertaining games in a socially responsible manner nonetheless, as we know Kentucky’s college students are counting on us now more than ever.”

From Kentucky Lottery Corporation

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