BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The sale of all Louisiana Lottery Corp. tickets soared to almost $430 million in the fiscal year that ended June 30. Officials say it's the second-highest sales total since the lottery began operations two decades ago.
Lottery spokeswoman Kelly Spell tells The Times-Picayune (http://bit.ly/Q84MDa ) the sales figures mean the lottery has turned over to the state about $156.9 million in the fiscal year.
By law, the state must receive 35 percent of the sales and the winners' share is 50 percent. Retailers receive 5 percent of the sales and the lottery can keep no more than 10 percent of the money generated.
Spell said the $156.9 million turned over to the state for elementary and secondary education needs included $5.5 million from the agency's "operational efficiency." Spell said the total remitted to the state in the last fiscal year is almost $25 million more than what had been projected.
The ticket sales of $429.6 million cover the period from July 1, 2011, to June 30, 2012, the state's fiscal year. In the first fiscal year of operation in 1992-93, the lottery sold $494.7 million in tickets.
"We are proud of the work we've done this year to contribute to Louisiana when the funds are most needed," Lottery President Rose Hudson said. "That's a win-win for all of us."
Since the lottery began in 1991, more than $7.1 billion in revenue has been generated, mainly from ticket sales; about $2.5 billion of that has been transferred to the state.
The lottery normally averages about $319 million in annual sales but the games have exceeded that average in the past several years, lottery officials said. Spell said ticket sales spurted in 2011-12 because of many high-dollar prize rollovers in the multistate Powerball and relatively new Mega Million game, which launched in November.
Hudson said the lottery also saw instant "scratch-off" game sales go to $158 million last fiscal year, an increase of 6.7 percent from the previous year.
The price of a Powerball ticket also increased from $1 to $2 this year and Louisiana players have shown a dedication to buying Louisiana-themed scratch-off games, like one tied in with the New Orleans Saints.
Hudson said the pursuit of creative licensing agreements with "Louisiana brands," such as with the History Channel's "Swamp People" show, also helped increase instant game sales. She said that an initial run of 1.2 million show-related tickets sold out in 15 days and prompted a second printing.
Information from: The Times-Picayune, http://www.nola.com