The Kentucky Lottery Corp. has forecast record ticket sales and a record dividend to the state for the fiscal year ending June 30.
The primary reason for the improvement is heavy sales when the Powerball jackpot climbed to $340 million in October and $365 million in February, said Arch Gleason, lottery chief executive officer.
The agency has estimated that 2005-06 statewide sales of lottery tickets will reach $743.7 million, a figure that would break the previous high of $725.3 million in 2003-04 and be 5.4 percent higher than the $705.9 million last fiscal year.
The record sales will translate into a record return to the state, a sum estimated at $200 million through June 30. The previous high was $193.5 million, also in 2003-04.
All state lottery profits are set aside for scholarships for Kentucky high school students.
The sales and dividend projections were presented to the lottery corporation board at its recent bimonthly meeting in Louisville.
In his report, Howard Kline, the lottery's senior vice president of finance and administration, projected $750 million in sales for next fiscal year.
The recent Powerball jackpot runs "will be tough, if not impossible, to replicate," Gleason said in an interview.
The sales forecast was strong for nearly all lottery games. Sales of "instant" games, -- scratchoffs and pull-tabs -- are expected to total $423 million this fiscal year, an increase of $14 million over last year. And sales from all online, or computerized, games for 2005-06 are estimated at $320 million, a $22 million gain over last year.
A new online game called Win for Life, which offers a top prize of $1,000 a week for life, has proved popular, generating sales of nearly $480,000 a week, or about $130,000 more than predicted when the game began in February. It replaced Lotto South, whose sales had dropped to under $300,000 weekly, Gleason said.
Despite the rosy picture, Gleason said there are some uncertainties.
He said sales at Kentucky lottery outlets along the Tennessee border have fallen about 35 percent since the Tennessee lottery began in early 2004.
That loss, however, has largely been offset by Kentucky Lottery innovations in scratchoff games that have increased those ticket sales, Gleason said. In the last two years the average payout on scratchoff tickets has been raised from around 60 percent to more than 65 percent in an attempt to spur player interest.
The lottery also has had good results in introducing more expensive scratchoff games, offering higher prizes and selling for up to $20.
Gleason said that some sales have been lost to Indiana casinos but that the extent is hard to quantify.
Also troubling, Gleason said, is the nationwide impact of higher gas prices, which are leaving people with less disposable income to play the lottery. Again, he said, the exact impact is hard to measure.
On other matters, Gleason said the lottery probably will introduce a new online game in midsummer.
At the meeting, the board re-elected George Demaree of Louisville as its chairman and Keith Griffee of Mount Washington as vice chairman.
Sales and Dividends by Year
|Sales (millions |
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