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Kentucky Lottery sales set record last fiscal year

Jul 22, 2004, 7:19 am

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Kentucky Lottery

Kentucky Lottery ticket sales for the fiscal year ending June 30 totaled a record $725.2 million, a 7.7 percent increase over the previous year, state lottery officials announced yesterday.

The figure is slightly higher than the $723.8 million predicted by lottery officials after a board meeting six weeks ago.

At the same time, however, the board provided specifics about how much revenue has been lost since Tennessee began its lottery in mid-January and then added the popular Powerball game in mid-March.

The 16 Kentucky counties bordering Tennessee saw a decrease in ticket sales of 22 percent from mid-January through June 30, compared with the same period a year ago. That translated into reduced sales of about $12 million, according to Arch Gleason, Kentucky Lottery president.

More than 10 percent of Kentucky Lottery tickets previously were sold to Tennessee residents crossing the state line, and outlets along the border traditionally have been among the leading ticket sellers.

Kentucky expects dventually to lose about 90 percent of that business, officials said, projecting the annual reduced ticket sales at around $70 million.

Larry Newby, the Kentucky Lottery's manager of research and planning, said he expected that "the level of losses will continue to increase during the next fiscal year as Tennessee continues to roll out new games."

The loss of revenue to Tennessee was offset last fiscal year largely by a $37 million increase in the sale of scratchoff tickets statewide and by brisk sales before two large Powerball jackpots.

The $725.2 million in statewide ticket sales is 13.5 percent higher than the amount lottery officials projected in spring 2003, before the start of the last fiscal year.

Lottery officials said they expect the final dividend to the state to be a record $190 million or so.

The exact figure will be announced in August after an external audit, officials said.

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