Texas Lottery sales grew by the largest margin in six years, jumping 5 percent in the 2003 fiscal year, the Texas Lottery Commission said Monday.
Sales were $3.13 billion for the fiscal year ending Aug. 31, compared to $2.96 billion in the previous year, said Reagan Greer, executive director of the commission. This represents the largest increase since 1997.
Of the $955.2 million that was transferred to the state, $888.1 million went to the Foundation School Fund, Greer said.
Another $67 million in unclaimed prize money was transferred to the Multicategorical Teaching Hospital, which benefits the teaching arm of the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, and the Tertiary Care Facility, which assists hospitals in covering indigent health care costs.
Instant scratch-off tickets accounted for more than 60 percent of overall ticket sales.
Cash Five sales were up almost 16 percent, and Pick 3 sales increased by 10.5 percent. But Lotto Texas sales were off by more than 11 percent and Texas Two Step sales were down almost 13 percent.
Greer said he expects revenues for the next fiscal year to continue to grow as the state negotiates to enter into the Mega Millions multistate lottery.
The state of Washington had a disappointing entry into Mega Millions. Fifty-one million dollars in sales for the first year was less than half what was originally projected. The Texas Lottery director says they're still comfortable in joining Mega Millions.
"And we were very conservative about the numbers we projected, $100 to $101 million over the next biennium," Greer said, "And that's what we worked on with the legislature, and the comptroller's office, the legislative budget board as well."
Late October, early November is still the timeline for Texas joining Mega Millions which has higher jackpots.
The lottery executive director says he'll be talking with Mega Millions officials this weekend as they continue ironing out some features Texas would like to see.