LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — There is a reason the Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots haven’t soared into those astronomical figures were often see.
“Those sales are down 50%, or about 9.2 million dollars,” said Chip Polston of the two entities, which are the most popular in the state.
Polston serves as the Kentucky Lottery’s Vice President of Communications and Social Responsibility. Right now, his organization is trying to be socially responsible; not inviting people who might be having financial difficulty to buy lottery games tickets. But Polston also has a responsibility to thousands of Kentucky’s high school students.
“Last year 126,000 Kentucky students used more than 250,000,000 dollars in Kentucky Lottery proceeds to go to college,” Polston said.
That’s a big function of the state’s lottery, and it could take a big hit the longer the pandemic keeps people at home, and out of work.
“We know it could go on a for a while,” Polston said of the unemployment situation.
Without income, there’s no discretionary money to spend on lottery games. And Polston understands that completely.
“If you’re in a bad financial situation, the last thing you need to be doing is buying lottery tickets,” he said.
Across the board, Polston said the Lottery is down 11.25 million dollars compared to the same five-week time period in 2019. He also said his budget is experiencing a shortfall of more than 15 million dollars. But he did add that the organization’s commitment to students will remain solvent.
“We’re going to continue to operate in a socially responsible manner, while we work to meet our commitments to Kentucky’s students.”