The Massachusetts Lottery ended 2021 with a bang, selling a record-setting $145.3 million worth of scratch tickets, Keno, and Powerball tickets in the final week of the year.
The $145,329,765 worth of sales reflects a 4% increase on the previous record of $139.47 million. Many believe that a part of this increase was due to the rising Powerball jackpot, which had reached $630 million.
The record-setting weekend placed an exclamation point on what was already an incredible year for the Massachusetts Lottery. The lottery saw over $1.1 billion in net revenue returns, which is the most in the state’s history.
The Lottery Commission expects to exceed that number this year, seeing as how they are already $38.5 million ahead of the 2021 fiscal profit rate.
With all of this growth in the state’s lottery, it should only be a matter of time before we see Massachusetts online gambling expand to include sports betting and online games.
A breakdown of Massachusetts’ historic week
Scratch-off tickets shoot to the moon
A large majority of the Lottery’s sales from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1 came from scratch-off tickets. The Lottery sold almost $98 million worth of scratch-off tickets in seven days. This amasses the previous weekly record of $93.16 million, which came in the first week of 2020.
The Massachusetts online lottery also saw incredibly high scratch-off ticket sales in the weeks leading up to their end-of-the-year bash. In 10 weeks (from mid-Oct. to Christmas) the MA Lottery sold over $759 million worth of scratch-off tickets.
The resurrection of Keno
Keno sales also saw record numbers in the final week of 2021, collecting over $25 million for the first time in the state’s history.
This was huge for the MA Lottery, considering the effects that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on Keno sales. During the pandemic sales reached all-time lows since Keno is mostly played in bars.
Many bars were forced to close or only permit outdoor dining, thus making Keno almost impossible to play. However, as COVID-related restrictions continue to loosen, Keno sales are beginning to return to normal.
Where does all the money go?
In the fiscal year 2021, the Massachusetts State Lottery paid out over $4.2 billion in prizes. This averages out to almost $12 million in prizes every single day. So for every dollar spent on the lottery in Massachusetts, 73% of it is paid out in prizes to the players.
The MA Lottery consistently has the highest payout percentage in the nation. They’re able to consistently pay out their players the most money thanks to their low operating costs. The MA State Lottery is the only self-operated lottery in the nation. And that means they only need 2% of their total revenue to stay afloat.
The remaining chunk of the Lottery’s revenue is paid out to both the Commonwealth, and to the retailers that are selling lottery tickets.
At the end of every year, the Massachusetts Lottery gives all net profits back to the Commonwealth. It distributes the money across all 351 cities and towns in the state. Communities use these funds to:
- Provide and improve public safety staffing and equipment
- Snow removal
- Local road improvements
- School services
- Programs for seniors
- Parks and recreation projects
The MA Lottery distributes net revenue profits proportionality, using population and city/town size as the key factors.
Boston is the biggest pay-out recipient, receiving over $200 million from the MA State Lottery in the 2021 fiscal year.