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Jul 8, 3:02 AM EDT

Florida Lottery sales continue to grow


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Sales of Florida Lottery tickets continue to grow.

Lottery officials announced that the state sold more than $5.36 billion in tickets during the fiscal year that ended on June 30. That's the second year in a row that ticket sales have exceeded $5 billion.

State officials estimate that the increased sales will result in $1.49 billion going to schools and to pay for programs such as the state's Bright Futures scholarship program.

Florida voters first approved the lottery in 1986, and tickets went on sale in early 1988. Sales initially peaked at $4.2 billion back in 2008 but dropped as the state's economy soured.

But lottery sales have rebounded as the state has added such games as Mega Millions and witnessed a surge in the popularity of scratch-off tickets.

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