LOUISVILLE, Ky. — On the eve of the Mega Millions jackpot reaching an estimated $1.55 billion, the Kentucky Lottery announced that it broke its all-time sales and scholarship funding records.
Kentucky Lottery officials said sales eclipsed $1.8 billion in fiscal year 2023, a 9.8% jump from the previous year. The lottery also reported providing $380.3 million in scholarship and grant funding for Kentucky college students.
It's not just record sales and scholarship funding—officials claim Kentucky Lottery players are seeing more prize payouts. Prize claims jumped 12.2% to $1.29 billion as players shift buying habits to games with loftier prizes, officials said.
“Our players continue to show us that the winning experience is one of the most important factors when it comes to buying decisions,” said Kentucky Lottery President and CEO Mary Harville. “But we also understand that our players like knowing that a portion of every dollar they spend on lottery products goes to fund higher education opportunities for Kentucky students."
The Kentucky Lottery operates through over 3,400 retailers across the state. Players can also partake online, where digital sales grew nearly 70% and accounted for 23% of all sales, officials said.
Draw game sales, including Powerball, Mega Millions, and Kentucky-specific Pick 3 and Pick 4, totaled $503.5 million, an increase of 3.4% from the previous year. Contributing to these sales were several large jackpot runs, including a record $2.04 billion Powerball jackpot that was won in California in November and a $1.348 billion Mega Millions jackpot won in Maine in January.
Kentucky had its fair share of big winners, with 19 players becoming millionaires from prize winnings. This includes six players who won either $1 million or $2 million in Powerball prizes.
The Kentucky Lottery funds an array of scholarships and grants for college students, including the popular KEES program. It also funds need-based scholarships such as the College Access Program and Kentucky Tuition Grant.