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Maryland Lottery sales set record 14th straight year

The Maryland State Lottery Agency announced Monday that it generated $1.7 billion in sales in fiscal 2011, breaking its record for the 14th year in a row. The lottery agency contributed $519.4 million to the state’s general fund through its sales, an $8.9 million increase from last fiscal year.

That revenue is used to support education, public safety, health and environmental programs. The revenue makes the lottery agency the fourth largest contributor to the state’s funding sources, after sales, income and corporate taxes.

“The magic is the hard work that everyone in the staff puts in to come up with new and exciting promotions, and the hard work we get from our retailers to interact with players,” said Stephen L. Martino, director of the Maryland State Lottery Agency.

Total sales increased by $7.8 million from last fiscal year, and commissions earned by lottery retailers totaled $113.7 million.

Mega Millions and Powerball, two multi-state jackpot games, had $159.3 million in sales. Sales for all the jackpot games, including Bonus Match 5 and Multi-Match, were $208.7 million. Video monitor games, including Keno and Racetrax, had sales of $496.7 million, up $4.7 million from last year.

Other games, such as Pick 3 and Pick 4, had $260.8 million and $254.6 million in sales, respectively. Pick 3 winners got $130.8 million in prizes, while Pick 4 players won $126.9 million.

Total prizes paid to players by the Maryland Lottery amounted to more than $1 billion.

The Maryland lottery has raised $12.2 billion for the state since starting in 1973.

For next year, Martino said the agency is cautious about setting its goal too high because of the economy.

Heading into fiscal year 2012, Martino said that it was difficult to project sales goals because of the still weak economy.  “But we are already at work on the promotions to lead to a 15th consecutive record year,” he said.

One of those promotions is the popular Ravens Cash Fantasy ticket that offers players, among other prizes, a chance to win lifetime game seats.

The $5 scratch-off was the second-most popular game in 2010 and made $2 million for the lottery, according to the agency. The Maryland Lottery had received approval in July to change its agreement with the Baltimore Ravens to allow for a delay the distribution of the scratch-off tickets to retailers if the National Football League’s player lockout wasn’t resolved by September.

With the lockout resolved, retailers will receive the tickets Monday, said Erica Palmisano, spokeswoman for the Maryland State Lottery Agency.

But fans attending Saturday’s Ravens practice at M&T Bank Stadium will be able to buy the tickets before they hit the retail market, Palmisano said.

The Ravens-themed ticket was started in 2009.

Casino revenue from the state’s two facilities in Perryville and Ocean Downs were not included in the lottery agency’s reported figures. The casinos had $103 million in revenue in fiscal 2011. About $50 million of that goes to the state’s Education Trust Fund.

One comment

  1. The lottery, a tax on the poor. Feeding on your hopes and dreams