BOSTON (SHNS) – Sales at the Massachusetts Lottery dipped last month by nearly $20 million compared to March 2021 and the slump dropped the Lottery slightly behind the record-setting profit pace of the last fiscal year.

Interim Executive Director Mark William Bracken told the Lottery Commission on Tuesday morning that March sales totaled $460.6 million, a roughly 4 percent decline from March 2021. Year-to-date sales for fiscal year 2022 stand at $4.47 billion, $99 million more than through the same nine months of fiscal 2021. The sales dip combined with an increase in scratch ticket prize claims and the processing of a multi-state jackpot game prize settlement to yield an $11.1 million drop in monthly profit for March — $70.9 million last month compared to $82 million in March 2021.

Nine months through fiscal 2023, the Lottery is running $17.4 million behind its profit mark at this point in fiscal 2021. Liz Giffen, the Lottery’s director of digital operations, told the commission that a digital advertising campaign that ran from February 22 to March 22 was successful in driving more players to download and use the agency’s app, which allows players to scan tickets to check if they have won and to register to claim certain prizes remotely.

“During March, we had our second-highest month for overall account registrations, bringing in 8,700 new players, which is significant. That’s only the second-highest behind January,” Giffen said. “And then also there was a 29 percent increase on mobile claims for winning tickets between $601 to $5,000, making it also our second-highest month for total mobile claims since we launched the program back in September of 2021, with a total of 3,148 mobile claims.”

Bracken said that between 17 percent and 18 percent of eligible Lottery prizes (prizes of between $601 and $5,000 that otherwise would need to be paid out at a Lottery claim center) are now being cashed on the app rather than at a physical Lottery location.

More than $20 million in prizes has been paid out via the mobile app, he said.