The Virginia Lottery has celebrated a record-breaking year of operations as it contributed nearly $780m to support public education for K-12 students in the state.
Reporting its FY22 results, the lottery disclosed total lottery sales of $3.75m, of which a record $2.67bn was paid out to players in prizes. This meant that for each dollar spent on tickets, $0.71 was paid back out in winnings.
The lottery declared that online sales ‘rose steadily for the second full year, reporting its rising popularity amongst players since first offered in 2020.
Despite this, players still purchased tickets at retail locations, as the lottery’s retail partners earned $138.6m in commissions and bonuses during the year.
“Virginia’s gambling environment is rapidly evolving and growing with sports betting and casinos,” said Virginia Lottery Board Chairman Ferhan Hamid. “The Lottery Board’s role in licensing and regulating these entitles is vital to ensure fairness, integrity and transparency. Those are values that have characterised the Lottery for nearly 34 years.”
The lottery made a profit of $779.6m, averaging more than $2.1m per day for the entire year.
State law dictates that 100% of profits is donated to K-12 education across the state. Virginia Lottery’s Executive Director, Kelly Gee, presented the Commonwealth’s Secretary of Education, Aimee Rogstad Guidera, with a cheque for the $779.6m.
“Solid business practices supported by a broad offering of games to our players and the opportunity for our valuable retail partners to earn commissions and bonuses are what led to this record year,” Gee remarked.
“We had positive impacts in every corner of the state, from players winning record amounts of prizes to retailers benefiting from their ticket sales. All of this means great news for our K-12 public schools.”
“Lottery funds traditionally make up roughly ten percent of Virginia’s overall K-12 education budget and support vital programs in every school district in the Commonwealth,” commented Rogstad Guidera.
“These funds are indispensable to our efforts to ensure every student in the Commonwealth—regardless of zip code—is prepared for success in life.”
The lottery has been ‘striving’ to reduce its operating costs, which in FY22 stood at $158.2m. Representing 4.2% of sales, this is far below the 10% of total sales that is allowed under the provisions of state law.
Moreover, the Virginia Lottery board moved into its role of licensing and regulating mobile sports betting and casino gaming. It had 13 licensed sports betting permit holders at the end of FY22, whilst it formally opened the Hard Rock Bristol Casino just after the fiscal year’s end.