PA Lottery Reports Record $1.3 Billion Year Fueled by Scratch-Offs, Draw Games, Online Growth

Posted By Kevin Shelly on August 4, 2021

Pennsylvanians have kept on scratching. For the 10th straight year, the PA Lottery has brought in more than a billion dollars.

The just-concluded fiscal year record booked more than $1.3 billion for assistance to senior citizen support programs, including property tax and rent rebates, free and reduced-fare transportation, and prescription assistance.

Traditional lottery games carried the weight

The record was driven by more than $5 billion in traditional games sales, such as scratch-off tickets and multi-state draws, such as Powerball and Mega Millions.

Keno was the only game with a sales decline, down 11.7% to $41.6 million.

The Lottery’s last record year was in the 2018-19 fiscal year. Then it had $4.5 billion in sales and had a profit of $1.1 billion.

iLottery kicked in and also set a record

An online lottery record of $887 million in sales from internet play was also set. Online games are just more than three years old. A legal challenge by a coalition of casinos against the lottery’s sponsorship of the games was recently dismissed.

Online players claimed more than $772.1 million. That’s an increase of $135 million from the last fiscal year.

Record set despite a recent warning from lottery director

The new record was set despite its executive director, Drew Svitko, warning in June that unlicensed grey skill machines threaten the Lottery.

Svitko said in a prepared statement:

“We are extremely proud that we kept funds flowing to programs that benefit older Pennsylvanians during a year when many sorely needed this assistance.”

Lottery by the numbers

Scratch-offs made up nearly 71% of lottery sales for the fiscal year ending in June, totaling nearly $3.8 billion, up 17% from the year prior.

Draw games, such as Powerball and Mega Millions, accounted for 25% with $1.3 billion in sales. The Pick 3 game was the third most popular bringing in $305 million, accounting for nearly 5.8% of sales.

The Lottery said several large Powerball and Mega Millions jackpots drove sales in the fiscal year, including a $516 Mega Millions jackpot ticket sold in May in Bucks County. A third weekly Powerball drawing beginning at the end of the month should further boost sales.

During the past fiscal year, 97 tickets won $1 million or more.

Retailers in PA earned $329 million in sales commissions during the period, up $71 million from the 2019-20 fiscal year.

Lead image via Dreamstime.

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Kevin Shelly

Kevin C. Shelly is an award-winning career journalist who has spent most of his career in South Jersey. He's the former assistant city editor of The Press of Atlantic City, where he covered the casino industry and Atlantic City government as a reporter. He was also an investigative, narrative enterprise, and features reporter for Gannett’s Courier-Post.

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