Lottery reports record revenue, prize payouts

Agency comes just short of setting a new profit record

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE

FISCAL YEAR 2022 was another record-setting one for the Massachusetts Lottery with all-time highs for total revenue, prizes paid out, and commissions or bonuses paid to retailers, but the agency came up just short of topping its profit record, officials said Tuesday morning.

Estimates for the fiscal year that ended June 30 show the Lottery took in a record $5.86 billion in revenue and paid a record $4.309 billion of that money back out to players. But Interim Executive Director Mark William Bracken said the Lottery expects it will turn over $1.102 billion in net profit for the Legislature to use as local aid — that’s $10 million less than the record $1.112 billion profit turned in fiscal year 2021.

“The efforts of our retail partners and our team members, with the guidance and support of Treasurer Goldberg and our Commissioners, contributed to another banner year even as the pandemic continued to pose challenges,” Bracken said. “We are especially grateful for our customers, who were rewarded with a record amount of prize winnings.”

The fiscal 2022 numbers will still need to be audited, but Bracken said he does not expect them to change substantially by the time the audit is completed in September. Bracken said the Lottery surpassed its revenue record (previously $5.828 billion set in fiscal 2021) by approximately $32 million, handed out $335 million in commissions and bonuses (besting the $333.3 million record set in fiscal 2021), and set a new record high for Keno sales ($1.217 billion compared to fiscal 2021’s $1.057 billion). The Lottery’s administrative costs were two percent of overall revenue.

“Overall, you’ll see our instant ticket sales were down over $120 million for the fiscal year, our Mega Millions sales were down $38 million, that was somewhat canceled out by our Powerball sales being up $33 million. Our big winner of the year was Keno, being up $160 million, almost $161 [million],” Bracken said.

The Lottery paid out a slightly higher percentage of its revenue as prizes in fiscal 2022 (73.53 percent) than it did in fiscal 2021 (73.49 percent). Lottery players won 196 prizes of $1 million or more in fiscal year 2022, including 29 prizes valued at $2 million or more.

Treasurer Deborah Goldberg, who oversees the Lottery and chairs the Lottery Commission, noted that “as the Lottery celebrates its 50th anniversary, we continue to set records and generate valuable resources for every community in the state.”

Since the first ticket was sold in 1972, the Lottery has generated more than $143 billion in revenue, returned more than $31 billion in profit for the state to use as unrestricted local aid, paid out more than $100 billion in prizes, and has paid more than $8 billion in commissions and bonuses to its statewide network of retailers.

Goldberg and the Lottery have been attempting for years to secure legislative authority to sell Lottery products online, arguing that the Lottery’s profits are not sustainable without the ability to compete with various online gaming options for younger players. Complicating that argument — as the latest attempt to authorize online Lottery sales moves into conference committee talks — is the fact that the Lottery continues to post strong and record-setting financials even without the ability to sell products online.

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Chris Lisinski

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The Lottery launched a mobile cashing feature on its app in September, allowing players to check if their tickets are winners and, if they are, remotely claim prizes between $601 and $5,000 that otherwise would have needed to be claimed at a Lottery office. Between September and June 30, the Lottery processed 23,612 transactions totaling $30.8 million on the app, which officials said saved customers more than $200,000 in gasoline costs by eliminating vehicle trips to Lottery claim centers.

Bracken also told the Lottery Commission on Tuesday that, despite a $5 million decrease in sales last month, the Lottery turned an estimated profit of $65.8 million for June.