The Arizona Lottery Wednesday reported a strong surge in October ticket sales compared to last year — a strong sense that the organization's core consumers are maintaining their purchase behavior despite an economic slowdown impacting most Americans.
Sales were up 21 percent in September and 5.8 percent in October compared to those months last year.
Lottery sales are holding steady with continued year-over-year growth in its core Scratchers games and jackpot-motivated growth for games such as Powerball.
Overall, core sales for the first fiscal quarter of 2009 — excluding jackpot-driven games The Pick and Powerball — are also up 3.6 percent. Scratchers sales for the same period have also increased 1.2 percent over last year.
Additionally, the Arizona Lottery has begun to roll out Scratchers with higher payouts and more prizes. Consumers began to experience these changes for the first time this month and will continue to see higher payouts with other games through the end of the year and into 2009.
"We are entering the beginning of one of the most active fiscal quarters for the Arizona Lottery," said Art Macias, executive director of the Arizona Lottery. "I'm proud to report that even in this tough economic climate, the Lottery is maintaining its sales numbers. We are confident that sales will continue to trend positive particularly as the new lottery enhancements begin to take shape: specifically, higher and more prize payouts, higher rolling jackpots and new games."
Lottery sales fluctuate throughout the course of the fiscal year, with July and August being the slowest-generating months.
Additional factors that contribute to and skew monthly sales numbers include history-making jackpots, as seen in August 2007 when the Powerball jackpot was the second highest in history — which both increased overall monthly Powerball sales but also skewed expectations of sales results for August 2008, which did not experience such a high jackpot scenario.
The same situation played out in September 2008, where Powerball sales were higher than normal for that month due to a high jackpot.