Record highs for 2020-21 fiscal year
You just can’t keep a good prospect down. Despite, or because of the pandemic, lottery profits in Pennsylvania and North Carolina for 2020-21 have broken records.
Pennsylvania Lottery was the biggest hitter of the two
The Pennsylvania Lottery was the biggest hitter of the two, with its officials announcing Monday a record profit of over $1.3bn for the 2020-21 fiscal year. Its southern counterpart, the North Carolina Education Lottery, joined the party with best-ever annual game profits of $936m.
For Pennsylvania and North Carolina, the profits provided a welcome injection of funds for their respective senior citizen and education programs through a COVID-19 ravaged year.
2021 ticket sales for the PA Lottery, which include scratch-offs, Powerball, and Mega Millions, reached an all-time high of $5.3bn. Online-play sales posted a figure of $887m. Ticket sales for the NC Education Lottery increased 26% on the previous year to $3.8bn, an official news release revealed.
Lotteries pack a pandemic-proof punch
With the Delta variant of COVID-19 currently ripping through the US and causing Las Vegas all sorts of mischief, both the PA and NC lotteries will at least feel somewhat pandemic-proof following their record profits.
The PA Lottery recorded its tenth year in a row that it exceeded the $1bn mark for senior programs. Executive director Drew Svitko said the lottery body was “extremely proud [it] kept funds flowing to programs that benefit older Pennsylvanians during a year when many sorely needed this assistance.”
Svitko’s NC Education Lottery counterpart, Mark Michalko, said North Carolinians turned to lottery games in response to a void in the entertainment option space during the pandemic. He added that players discovered “lots of ways to have fun,” including a new combined instant prize, a progressive jackpot game, and other “major life-changing” jackpot games.
The NC Education Lottery took to Twitter on August 2 in a timely example of what a life-altering win might look like, after longshoreman Wayne Harris of Brunswick County struck lucky with a $2m Powerball ticket:
Michalko said the lottery’s success despite “multiple challenges during these unusual times” was a combination of player loyalty, support from retailers, and a “tremendous effort” from employees.
Outlook peachy for US lotteries
Global technology research and advisory company Technavio on July 28 shared a news release that offers lotteries across the US even more of a feel-good outlook for the future. Technavio reckons that the US lottery market is “poised to grow” by $20.62bn during 2020-2024.
US lottery market is “poised to grow” by $20.62bn
In addition, under its Lottery Market in US 2020-2024: Scope study, Technavio points to the “high penetration of smartphones” as one of the prime drivers of US lottery market growth over the coming years.
For Wayne Harris — who bought his $2m winning ticket from the Circle K store on North Howe Street in Southport, North Carolina — moving over to online lottery play might not be such a pressing priority right now.