Florida Lottery ticket sales are $314 million higher than anticipated for the first half of the current fiscal year, but state economists predict sales “related to pandemic” will subside.
A panel called Revenue Estimation Conference increased projected ticket sales from $8.41 billion to $8.95 billion for the 2021-2022 fiscal year, which ends May 30. 6, according to a report posted this week.
But overall, economists expect ticket sales this fiscal year to be lower than last year, as people with money on impulse look to other forms of entertainment.
The forecast predicts a $121.8 million drop in overall ticket sales this year, and a further $51 million drop in revenue in the 2022-2023 fiscal year, which begins July 1. “Ticket sales per year will increase between 1.1 and 2.2%, largely due to population growth,” the report said.
When COVID-19 beat the state in the 2020-2021 financial year, the lottery set a record $9.076 billion in revenue. Total revenue is expected to drop to about $8.954 billion this year, according to the new forecast. According to the agency in August, the 2020-2021 total is supported by $6.8 billion in scratch-off ticket sales.
The new forecast for the 2021-2022 financial year gets a boost from higher-than-expected sales of scratch-off tickets and Powerball tickets, helped by two major jackpots.
This week, the Florida Lottery marked its 34th year in operation.
Since 1988, a portion of every lottery ticket sold has gone to Florida schools and students.
Since its inception, the Florida Lottery has contributed more than $40 billion to the state’s Advancement of Education Trust Fund, including more than $1 billion annually for each of the 20 consecutive years. In the 2020-2021 financial year, it exceeded $2 billion, breaking all records of the previous fiscal year.
The Florida Lottery is also a major source of funding for the Bright Futures Scholarship Program. It has allowed more than 917,000 students to attend university since the program began in 1997.