ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia's lottery saw profits leap again as gamblers kept reaching for lottery tickets and online games even as other entertainment opportunities reopened.
The Georgia Lottery Corp. announced Monday that it had turned over $1.54 billion in profits to the state in the budget year that ended June 30, up from last year's record in $1.24 billion.
It's the 10th straight year the lottery has set sales and profit records. Proceeds from the lottery finance college aid called Hope Scholarships and preschool classes.
Lottery sales initially dipped during the pandemic last spring but came roaring back, especially as more people began using online games. Officials said that strong performance continued in the just-concluded year.
“Coming out of a difficult year, these Georgia Lottery numbers are welcomed good news for both our students and our economy,” Republican Gov. Brian Kemp said in a statement.
The lottery said profits were aided by strong sales across the board, including scratch-off tickets, big multistate jackpots in the MegaMillions and Powerball games and the lottery’s online games. The lottery said in-store coin-operated amusement machines, which are regulated by the lottery, also contributed.
Sports betting and casino gambling remain illegal in Georgia, with lawmakers spurning efforts to legalize them again this year.
The Georgia Lottery Corp. says it has transferred $23.8 billion since it began, benefitting more than 1.9 million college students and more than 1.6 million prekindergarten students.