Georgia Lottery Harvests Record $1.24bn Profits Despite COVID-19

  • Georgia Lottery Corp. reported use of online options jumping 50% in April, early May
  • Peach State lottery said it also profited because most of its retailers stayed open 
  • Ninth consecutive year that Georgia's lottery has posted sales and profit records
  • It has funded more than $22.3bn worth of scholarships, preschooler aid 
  • Pennsylvania Lottery also saw a surge in online games as iLottery averaged $3m in daily sales
Georgia Lottery ticket machine
The Georgia Lottery Corporation has reported a record high of $1.24bn in fiscal year 2020 profits as online options jumped 50% following the COVID-19 outbreak. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Online lottery usage jumps 50%

Profits delivered to the Peach State reached a record high of $1.24bn in the budget year ending June 30, said the Georgia Lottery Corporation.

Georgia’s record lottery haul for fiscal year 2020 comes despite sales dipping in March following the start of COVID-19 restrictions, reported Associated Press. Georgia Lottery Corp. vice president Brad Bohannon stated that use of the lottery’s online options had jumped 50% in April and early May, as Georgians were able to purchase tickets and play gambling games at home.

profited from most of its retailers staying open”

The lottery said Tuesday that it also profited from most of its retailers staying open when other forms of entertainment were scarce. Even though the state’s lawmakers continue to dismiss legalizing sports wagering or casino gambling in Georgia, it’s the ninth consecutive year that the lottery has posted sales and profit records.

Pandemic power players

President and CEO of Georgia Lottery Corp. Gretchen Corbin highlighted the record $1.5bn jackpot MegaMillions multistate lottery, which she said fueled huge sales in 2019. Corbin also stated that her team was “laser focused on delivering the greatest amount possible to the state” despite COVID-19 challenges.

more than $22.3bn in proceeds

Since the Georgia Lottery’s inception, more than $22.3bn in proceeds has funded scholarships at state colleges, universities and technical colleges, in addition to providing financial assistance for four-year-old preschoolers.

Lawmakers in the Peach State originally asked agencies to examine cuts in education spending. However, as lottery sales rebounded, it was decided to leave the funding intact.

Lotteries as beacons of hope

Georgia’s isn’t the only state lottery to bounce back from the pandemic. As reported by The Tribune-Democrat, press secretary for the Pennsylvania Lottery Ewa Dworakowski said the state has seen “a surge in players turning to the Lottery’s online games.”

Pennsylvania iLottery was averaging $3m in sales a day

During the shutdown, the Pennsylvania iLottery was averaging $3m in sales a day. “Online play increased substantially during the COVID-19 pandemic and is now about 24% ahead of estimate for the fiscal year,” Dworakowski added.

Pennsylvania’s lottery also provided a lifeline for disadvantaged communities and at-risk groups. According to Daily American, 60 centers in Pennsylvania, including six senior community centers in the commonwealth’s Cambria and Somerset counties, are to receive $2m in grant funding from the lottery.

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