The Kentucky Lottery has announced it passed $1bn in annual sales in the FY2021, 73 days ahead of when the milestone was passed last year.
The lottery passed the threshold on March 4, 247 days into the fiscal year. It first hit $1bn in sales in 2017 when the landmark was met in the final hours of the final day of the fiscal year (June 30).
Lottery President and CEO Mary Harville said: “Given everything that’s happened this year, it took a herculean effort to achieve this goal as quickly as we did.
“With where we were a year ago, just starting to go into COVID lockdown, reaching this milestone as quickly as we have may have seemed impossible. But effective planning, execution and teamwork between both our tremendous retailers and our exceptional staff have driven our success this year.”
Harville added that the availability of lottery products during lockdown helped grow sales as tickets were sold at essential retailers such as gas stations and grocery stores.
“With limited entertainment options during the early months of the pandemic, players re-discovered lottery games and have stayed with us,” she said.
Vice President and Corporate Controller Maggie Garrison declared that sales from July through February totalled $982.8m, 34.4% ($251.3m) more than for the same period last year, and 18.6% ($153.9m) more than budgeted.
Net income before the transfer of dividends totalled $219.7m, 34.3% ($56.1m) more than last year and 21.6% ($39.0m) more than budgeted. Operating expenses for the period are below budget and only 2.2% of sales.
Garrison also noted that January also marked the highest sales month in Kentucky Lottery’s 31-year history as sales hit $159.5m. Other records set during the month included the highest monthly draw game sales ($63.5m), highest monthly ilottery instant play sales ($10.7m) and the highest overall sales week in history ($43.0m).
The lottery’s year-to-date sales jump was led by scratch-off tickets, which have increased by 33.8% ($148.1m) for the period, from $437.8m in 2020 to $585.8m this year.
The ilottery instant play product saw the largest percentage sales jump by 322.8% ($47.7m) from $14.8m for the period last year to $62.5m in 2021.
Last month, the lottery signed an ilottery contract extension with IGT.