LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Despite concerns over inflation and exorbitant gas prices, people are still scratching that lottery itch. From July of 2021 through May of this year, the Kentucky Lottery registered new records virtually across the board.
Total lottery sales were up more than $86 million from the previous time period. Online gaming was up more than 100 million dollars, and those popular scratch-off games produced an additional 6 million dollars during that fiscal year lottery officials utilize.
“Even in times of financial uncertainty, we feel we still offer a good product,” said Kentucky Lottery President and CEO, Mary Harville.
Harville said that while the price of virtually everything has risen, the prices to play their games have remained the same, and that could be one of the reasons for the increase in revenue during the last year. Other forms of entertainment are costing more while this form of entertainment remains the same. While this is good news for those who benefit from lottery proceeds across the state, the picture wasn’t all rosy.
“We did better in the first half of the fiscal year. We didn’t do as well in the second half,” Harville noted.
She said there are many factors that go into their success, and it’s fair to speculate that the second half of the year wasn’t as good because that’s around the time when the gas prices began to rise, and individual federal stimulus money began to run out.
“That was probably one of them, for sure,” Harville said of the timing and reasoning for the slight downturn over the second six months.
Still, Harville feels good about the past year as a whole and anticipates the agency will still be in good financial shape going forward, especially given the ease and convenience of the online offering.
“This is a relatively new channel for us, but we’re pleased a lot of folks are starting to use it, and the payout is good there for many,” she said.
Harville discussed how the proceeds from Kentucky Lottery games are directed towards college scholarships and grants, which means a good year for them becomes beneficial to almost everyone.
“There’s not too many forms of entertainment where you can say, ‘the proceeds go right back into our state.’ And that’s not just for the college student or their family, those funds go to the university of the student’s choice. And since that’s a Kentucky university, so they benefit as well,” she explained.