The Kentucky Lottery has posted sales and cash transfers results breaking previous all-time records from the Corporation’s 33-year history. The announcement was made at Friday’s meeting of the Kentucky Lottery board of directors. These FY22 numbers cover the period from July 2021 through June 2022:
- Total sales of $1,676,502,000. This is a 5.7% increase from the previous year, with $90.2 million in additional sales over FY21.
- Total cash transfers to the Commonwealth were $360.8 million. This is $6.0 million or 1.7% more than last year.
Lottery transfers to the Commonwealth fund a variety of college scholarship and grant programs, including the popular KEES scholarship.
These increased sales meant more prizes were awarded in FY22 than in any other period of the Kentucky Lottery’s history. Players won $1,152,007,000 for the year, an $84.6 million (7.9%) increase from the previous year.
Scratch-off tickets once again were the largest individual game category, finishing the year at $963.5 million. This is a $1.8 million or 0.2% increase from the previous year.
The largest percentage growth category for the year was realized by the Lottery’s Instant Play games. The category has seen steady growth over the past six years since it was launched, particularly in the last two years. Sales of Instant Play games finished FY22 at $226.1 million, an increase of $107.4 million or 90.6%. All Internet sales for the year comprised 15% of total Kentucky Lottery sales.
Sustained jackpot runs continued to play a large part in how Powerball and Mega Millions sales progressed during the fiscal year. Powerball sales for the year were $71.1 million, up 16% (or $9.8 million) from the previous FY. This was due in large part to a pair of jackpot runs during the year, most notably the $685 million jackpot in October 2021 and a $630 million jackpot in January 2022. The Mega Millions game did not see the same large jackpots, only breaking the $400 million mark twice in the FY. This led to a 29.2% (or $14.7 million) decline in annual sales for the game from the previous year, finishing FY22 with $35.5 million in sales.
Two other draw games saw increases for the year. The Lucky for Life game went from two drawings a week to seven in July 2021, with a subsequent 51.2% ($4.0 million) sales jump for the year to $11.7 million. Fast Play games, which play like a Scratch-off ticket printed from a Lottery terminal or vending machine, saw several new game launches during the year. This led to a 7.4% ($1.0 million) sales increase to $14.6 million for the year.
All other daily draw games saw declining sales. Sales for the daily Pick 3 game decreased by 3.7% (or $7.1 million), and Pick 4 game sales decreased 5.1% ($3.1 million). Keno sales also decreased by 6.2%, a $5.5 million decline from the previous year.
Mary Harville, who was appointed in September 2020 as the first woman president and CEO in the Kentucky Lottery’s history and is the first Kentuckian to hold the job in three decades, believes a simple combination has led to these record-breaking results. “To me, it’s about great games, fun and integrity,” she said. “We’re delivering fun games which players are clearly enjoying, and we’re doing it with a level of integrity players and decision-makers in the state expect.”
“Players clearly play for fun and to win great prizes,” Harville said. “But if they don’t win, they know the funds we generate go straight back to the Commonwealth to pay for college scholarship and grant programs, including every dime of the popular KEES scholarship ever awarded. One in five Kentuckians has now received a college scholarship or grant that was paid for directly when someone bought a Kentucky Lottery ticket, and I think the public appreciates knowing how these proceeds directly benefit people in their communities. So that means not only do players and retailers win thanks to the Kentucky Lottery, but our best, brightest and most-deserving students do as well.”
These increased sales and cash transfers have led to increased award amounts for several of the programs funded by Lottery proceeds. Awards for the need-based College Access Program (CAP) in four-year programs will increase to $5,300, up from $2,900 last year. Other need-based scholarship and grant programs funded by Lottery proceeds will also see increases. In addition, increased Lottery transfers have led to an expansion of the Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship program. This initiative helps residents who want to earn two-year degrees or certificates studying in-demand career fields. The program initially just covered four semesters of classes, but additional funding has expanded Work Ready to now continue until a student has earned 60 credit hours or completed their associates degree, whichever comes first.
Sales are expected to remain steady through the upcoming fiscal year. The Lottery’s Board of Directors last month approved the FY23 budget, which calls for $1.8 billion in sales and estimated total cash transfers of more than $350 million.
“While inflation normally means the value of your dollar is decreasing, Kentucky Lottery players are now getting more value for their dollar than ever before,” Harville said. “We continue to add more cash prizes to our games, as was evidenced by our record-breaking prizes paid last year.”
“Our work is cut out for us,” Harville added. “But we’re going to continue to deliver games when, where, and how players want them in a way that benefits all of the Commonwealth.”
During the meeting, the board approved a contract extension with IGT Global Solutions Corporation for secondary scratch-off production and related services, amended rules and regulations for Powerball, Mega Millions, Fast Play and Keno games, and rules and regulations for five Scratch-off tickets and two Instant Play games.