The Maryland Lottery said it has achieved its 11th straight year of record sales, topping $1.673 billion and surpassing state estimates for the fiscal year.
The lottery also exceeded its revenue target, raising $529 million in total revenue for the State of Maryland for Fiscal Year 2008. Records were set in every major category, including total sales, prizes paid to players, commissions earned by lottery retailers and revenues returned to the state to help support vital state-funded programs and services.
"The revenue generated by the Maryland Lottery helps us move our state forward and provide the programs and services that the people of Maryland depend on," said Gov. Martin O'Malley. "We have closed an inherited $1.7 billion structural deficit and made historic investments for our shared priorities. This revenue helps our One Maryland continue that progress."
Prizes paid to players reached more than $967 million, reflecting an increase of more than $48 million over last year. Meanwhile, commissions earned by retailers totaled nearly $118 million, an increase of more than $5.6 million over last year.
While sales hit the highest level ever, operational expenses remained low, finishing the year at an estimated 3.5 percent of total sales.
Individual lottery games also posted record sales. Instant games exceeded $513.8 million in sales, showing a significant increase for the 11th straight year.
The lottery's jackpot games — Multi-Match, Mega Millions and Bonus Match 5 — had sales totaling more than $184 million, an increase of $32.8 million over last year.
Mega Millions, the lottery's multi-state jackpot game, brought in more than $129.4 million in sales and produced over 3.2 million winners, including 27 second-tier winners, 199 third-tier winners and two top-tier Mega Millions jackpot winners
"We are thrilled to achieve our 11th year of record sales," said lottery director Buddy Roogow. "However, we recognize that with energy and gas prices on the rise, consumers have less discretionary income. As a result, FY '09 will pose significant challenges to the Lottery in its efforts to achieve another record-breaking year."