ROSEVILLE - The Minnesota Lottery recorded its fifth consecutive annual ticket sales record, K.A.R.E. 11 reports.
For the fiscal year that ended June 30, sales were up $15.6 million from the previous year and topped $520 million, state lottery officials said.
"What' we are seeing with lottery is, I think, the substitution of a less expensive entertainment item for more expensive ones," said Minnesota Lottery Research and Planning Director Don Feeney, adding record Powerball and Megamillion jackpots also fueled sales growth.
Lotto ticket sales were up sharply to $164.8 million, a 10% lift from the previous year.
While the sales record was welcome news for lottery officials, it was also surprising in light of the state€™s lingering economic difficulties and a three-week shutdown of state services last summer that included the lottery.
"If you asked me five years ago if we€™d record five years of consecutive record sales, I would have said 'No,€™" Feeney said. "There are just too many factors that come into play."
Of the $520 million, 62% was paid back to players and 6% went to retailers, Feeney said.