Hoosier Lottery mustered record profit for state in latest fiscal year

The Hoosier State Lottery says it generated a record amount of profit for the state of Indiana during the 2017 fiscal year, despite the fact that lottery ticket sales declined a smidge.

According to unaudited numbers provided by the lottery, players bought $1.2 billion worth of tickets for the 2017 fiscal year that ended June 30. That’s a drop of about $6.9 million—or 0.6 percent—from the record-setting $1.207 billion worth of tickets sold in the 2016 fiscal year.

At the same time, however, the Hoosier Lottery cut the cost of operating the lottery by 1.62 percent. Game and provider expenses totaled $906.8 million for the 2017 fiscal year, as compared with $921.8 million the previous year—a difference of about $15 million.

This category of expenses includes things like payments to the lottery’s private operator, IGT Indiana; marketing costs; and prize payouts. 

The bottom line: $289.4 million will be returned to the state. That’s nearly $8 million more than the $281.5 million returned to the state in the 2016 fiscal year, and the highest annual payment since the lottery began in 1989, said Dennis Rosebrough, the Hoosier Lottery’s director of public relations.

“That’s our mission—to maximize revenue for the state of Indiana,” Rosebrough told IBJ.

The state uses lottery proceeds to reduce residents’ automobile excise taxes, support state pension funds and finance other projects.

About three-fourths of ticket sales in the 2017 fiscal year came from scratch-off tickets, which generated $895.2 million in sales for the lottery. That’s up 2.9 percent from the previous fiscal year.

Sales of large-jackpot tickets declined, mostly because of a drop-off in Powerball ticket sales. In 2016, Powerball ticket sales got a boost when that game’s jackpot reached a record high of more than $1.5 billion. 

The Hoosier Lottery generated $97.9 million from Powerball ticket sales for the 2017 fiscal year, down from $131.4 million the previous year.

“We knew that matching the 2016 fiscal year was going to be a real challenge,” Rosebrough said.

Audited 2016 numbers should be available by the end of October, and the Hoosier Lottery’s official financial report for the 2017 fiscal year will be released after that, Rosebrough said.

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