Record-breaking year for Kentucky Lottery sales

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WKYT) - The Kentucky Lottery announced Friday that sales for fiscal year 2016 were a record $997.3 million. This breaks the old sales record established fiscal year 2015 of $899.1 million. The 2016 fiscal year ended on June 30.

Those sales led to record-breaking profits for the Commonwealth. A total of $253 million was earned for the state, breaking last year’s record of $231.1 million.

Lottery proceeds in Kentucky are used to fund college scholarship and grant programs. The lottery is the sole funding source for the Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship program, and also funds the need-based College Access Program and Kentucky Tuition Grants.

Scratch-off ticket sales continued to be the best-selling lottery product, finishing the year with a record-breaking $597.3 million in sales. This is $36.8 million more than the previous year.

The largest percentage increase by game for the full year went to Powerball. This follows the world record-breaking $1.5 billion jackpot run the game saw in January. Sales for the game finished at $94.4 million, up 45.2% from the previous year.

The lottery’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Howard Kline reported that the Powerball alone was not the cause of the record-breaking year. “The $1.5 billion jackpot run absolutely helped us exceed the state’s estimates for the year, but even without this bump, we were on track to break our all-time sales record thanks to the solid performance in our other game categories,” said Kline.

Record sales in fiscal year 2016 also led to record prizes paid. Players received $620.6 million in prizes, which is $64.3 million more than last year. Retailers also received record commissions of $62.6 million - $6.7 million more than last year.

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