BOSTON - Massachusetts lottery officials said lottery profits are expected to set a record this fiscal year, The Salem News reports.
Lottery profits topped $951 million in 2006, the current record. With profits this year already reaching $936 million and three months of reporting left this fiscal year, lottery officials said a new record is virtually a certainty and they expect to provide a revised profit estimate later this week.
"[This year has been] overwhelmingly profitable for the Lottery," said State Treasurer Steven Grossman, who chairs the Lottery Commission.
The profit increase has been driven largely by an increase in instant ticket sales, which are up $193 million over last year. Additionally, the record-setting $656 million Mega Millions jackpot at the end of March also aided sales, creating a $17 million increase in Mega Million ticket sales.
The lone game failing to attract a strong following has been the Massachusetts $10 million raffle ticket. Lottery officials had hoped to sell one million of the $20 tickets, but to-date have only sold 514,000. Grossman attributed the weak sales to a lack of advertising.
Since 1972, the Massachusetts Lottery has generated $86 billion in sales, for $18.8 billion in profits.
The Lottery€™s future is tenuous, as Massachusetts is introducing casino gambling, which some analysts expect to siphon away billions of dollars from lottery sales.