Lottery raises its profit estimate by $75 million

Massachusetts

BOSTON (SHNS) – Despite economy-wide shifts in consumer habits and government-mandated restrictions on some of its key partners, the Massachusetts Lottery expects to end fiscal year 2021 having set a record with more than $5.6 billion in revenue and a near-record $1.06 billion in profits to be distributed as local aid.

The Lottery initially projected that the budget year that ends June 30 would yield an estimated profit of $940 million but upgraded that estimate to $985 million in March as sales defied earlier expectations. On Monday, the agency announced another upgrade — this time projecting that it will produce $1.06 billion that the Legislature can pass on to cities and towns.

The Lottery recorded a record $1.1 billion net profit in fiscal year 2019.

“Even in a challenging environment, we continue to perform at the highest levels necessary to generate much needed local aid for every community throughout the state,” Treasurer Deborah Goldberg, who oversees the Lottery, said.

The Lottery said its revenue and profit upgrade was made possible in part by “record-setting sales of instant tickets and a significant jump in sales of Mega Millions and Powerball tickets” as the jackpots for those games neared the $1 billion mark in January.

Through last week, fiscal 2021 Lottery sales of $5.519 billion are up 10.7 percent over fiscal year 2020, officials said. Last year, despite sales that collapsed in March and April as the pandemic closed many businesses and changed consumer habits, the Lottery had its third-best year in terms of revenue and generated a net profit of $986.9 million.

The Lottery’s increasingly optimistic financial projections mirror the trend in state tax collections.

The Baker administration has twice upgraded its revenue projection for this fiscal year and is still on pace to collect nearly $4 billion more than its latest estimate and nearly $3 billion more than the revenue base used to build fiscal year 2022 budget proposals.

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