Virginia Lottery Generates Record Smashing $867 Million for K-12 Public Education Fiscal Year 2023 was Best Year yet for Virginia Lottery

September 5, 2023 | Lottery News

VIRGINIA (September 4, 2023) — With innovative new games, record-setting prize payouts, and historic Powerball and Mega Millions jackpots, the Virginia Lottery has just completed the best year in its 35-year history. The Lottery announced today that profits for Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23) came to more than $867 million.

That means the biggest Virginia Lottery winner of FY23 is Virginia’s K-12 public schools.

“The Lottery’s business is all about games and excitement, but we also support an important mission: generating funds for our K-12 public education,” said Lottery Executive Director Kelly T. Gee. “The unprecedented success we saw in Fiscal Year 2023 is positive news for all Virginians, regardless of whether they choose to play Lottery games.”

Several records were shattered in FY23. The $867 million in profits represents a nearly ten-percent growth over the previous record of $779.6 million set in Fiscal Year 2022. For the first time, sales for all Virginia Lottery games exceeded the $4 billion mark, totaling a record-breaking $4.6 billion.

Significantly contributing to this marquee year was the popularity of playing Lottery games online, including many instant-win games that are available only through the Lottery’s mobile app or at Sales from instant games alone topped $2 billion. Registered adult players in Virginia also can play most draw games online.

Another unique highlight of the year – or should we say three? – was the luck of not one, not two, but three multi-state Mega Millions and Powerball jackpot runs each topping $1 billion.

Additionally, there were several player-focused innovations this year that helped drive business success. The Lottery introduced a new feature to make it even easier for players to cash winning tickets, whether bought online or at retail. Mobile ticket cashing, which gives players the ability to scan and redeem winning tickets worth up to $5,000 directly into their online Lottery account using their mobile device, a first in the U. S. Lottery industry, was introduced. Players now can also choose to withdraw winnings from their account using a voucher that can be redeemed at Lottery retailers.

Speaking of those retail locations, many players continue to play their favorite games at the nearly 5,300 businesses across Virginia that sell tickets. Those retailers, many of them small “mom-and-pop” stores, earned more than $137 million in sales commissions and bonuses.

Of the $4.6 billion in Lottery sales for the year, a record $3.4 billion went back to players as prizes. In other words, approximately 74 cents of every dollar spent on Lottery products went back to players in the form of prizes.

One area in which the Lottery strives for the lowest number possible is operating expenses, also known as the cost of running the Lottery. In FY23, Lottery administrative costs represented about 4 percent of sales, well below the maximum 10 percent of sales allowed under Virginia law. The Virginia Lottery receives no financial operating support from tax dollars.

Here’s a rundown of Virginia Lottery results for FY23:
• Total sales: $4.6 billion
• Profit for K-12 education: $867 million
• Prizes won by players: $3.4 billion
• Commissions earned by retailers: $137 million
• Operating expenses: $195 million
• Unclaimed prizes to the Literary Fund:  $12.6 million
• Debt set-off collected: $8 million
• Largest Virginia prize won during year: $156.7 million Powerball jackpot

Along with providing lottery games, the Virginia Lottery Board has the expanded role of licensing and regulating mobile sports betting and casino gaming in the Commonwealth. By the end of the fiscal year on June 30, Virginia had 16 licensed active sports betting permit holders. In addition, three Virginia casinos opened their doors to customers during FY23: Hard Rock Bristol, Rivers Casino Portsmouth and Caesars Virginia in Danville.

For a complete list of Lottery funds distributed to Virginia school districts, visit the Virginia Lottery’s Giving Back page. For general information or to play games online, visit the Virginia Lottery’s website or download the Lottery’s appHere you can find more details about sports betting and casinos. Connect with the Lottery on FacebookTwitterInstagram, or YouTube.

With all gaming, the Virginia Lottery reminds everyone to please Play Responsibly.

SOURCE: Virginia Lottery.

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