The New Jersey Lottery Commission has announced its unaudited results for the fiscal year 2021, posting a record $3.68bn in sales, the highest in lottery history and 14.6% higher than the fiscal year 2020.
Announcing its results for the trading period ended June 30 at its July Commission meeting, the lottery declared it had contributed $1.08bn in profits to the state, which is used to support the various public employee pension systems. The results are unaudited and the total final contribution amount is expected to rise when the lottery’s FY2021 financial audit is complete.
Lottery Executive Director, James A Carey Jr, explained that the high sales were the result of several factors, such as consumers having fewer options for entertainment spending during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As well as providing a form of entertainment, the lottery took several steps to adjust its operations during the pandemic, including allowing lottery courier companies to sell additional games online, changing draw times, and conducting numerous promotional events on social media.
Carey said: “I am proud of the lottery’s achievements this year. The circumstances were extraordinarily difficult for all of us and I want to thank all of those who assisted us during the challenging year.
“Our retailers and other partners have worked hard and maintained operations under difficult circumstances. I thank our players for their continued loyalty. And I also thank our valued team for being hardworking, dependable and dedicated, all the while ensuring the integrity of the games.
“The New Jersey Lottery continued to operate during the pandemic and conducted sales and drawings every single day. We could only do that because of the commitment of our employees, partners and retailers.”
The lottery noted that the sales of its scratch-off games exceeded $2bn for the first time in its history, while Pick-3 and Pick-4 games collectively had sales of approximately $743m, up more than 10% from last year.
Jersey Cash 5 benefited from changes to the game that were launched on June 29, 2020, which resulted in more million-dollar jackpots, increasing player participation and boosting sales by 35%. Mega Millions and Powerball had sales of $213m and $175m, respectively, and saw bigger jackpots in FY2021, including a $1bn Mega Millions jackpot in January.
Players won $2bn from the lottery’s draw and scratch-off games. The lottery’s 6,900 retailers earned over $200m in commissions.
Carey also announced that the lottery will make an incentive payment to the state’s sales and marketing vendor, Northstar New Jersey Lottery Group. The calculation of the incentive payment will not be finalised until the lottery’s financial audit is complete later this year. In May 2019, the Department of the Treasury and the lottery entered into an amended service agreement with Northstar, which is projected to save approximately $100m over the life of the contract.