The Georgia Lottery Corp. announced today that fiscal year 2020 profits transferred a record $1,.24bn (£983.9m/€1.08bn) to the State Treasury’s Lottery for Education Account.
Despite many lotteries seeing revenue decline throughout the novel Coronavirus (covid-19) pandemic, Georgia Lottery said it was able to grow sales by encouraging and educating its players to move online.
Furthermore, given the availability of its products in essential retail locations, retail sales have remained relatively strong throughout the period.
The record contribution for the year ended 30 June 2020 brings the total raised for education programs to more than $22.3bn over the lottery’s 27-year history.
“With all Lottery profits benefiting Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship and Pre-K programs, the Georgia Lottery’s monumental success is a milestone to celebrate,” Georgia Governor Brian Kemp said.
“By funding HOPE and Pre-K, the Georgia Lottery continues to help Georgia’s students gain a high-quality education from start to finish, which ultimately makes our state stronger and more competitive.”
Sales initially dipped in March following the start of the pandemic, but rebounded in the last quarter of FY20 as players became increasingly familiar with the online availability of lottery games. The lottery also partnered with retailers to promote safe interactions with players.
Commenting on the operator’s success, Georgia Lottery president and chief executive, Gretchen Corbin, said: “Our team has been laser focused on delivering the greatest amount possible to the state in a year where we first focused on outpacing 2019, the year of one of the largest jackpots in history, and then added Covid-19 challenges to our goal to surmount.”
“I am grateful to Governor Kemp and the legislature for their support, our board of directors for their strong leadership, our employees for their hard work and unwavering commitment, our vendors and partners for their exceptional efforts, our retailers for their tremendous diligence on the frontlines with customers every day, and our players who have supported us responsibly at retail and online.”
Fiscal year 2020 marks the lottery’s ninth consecutive year of growth in profits for education, and the fifth consecutive year that profits have surpassed $1bn.