Schools win big as Virginia Lottery announces record-breaking year

Governor Northam accepted a ceremonial check for $765 million in lottery profits to be used in...
Governor Northam accepted a ceremonial check for $765 million in lottery profits to be used in K-12 programs.(Credit: Virginia Lottery (WHSV))
Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 3:42 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WHSV) - The Virginia Lottery Wednesday reported record sales and profits for the state budget year ending on June 30.

The successful launch of new online games and the continued strength of traditional lottery products sold at retail pushed the Lottery’s annual sales to nearly $3.3 billion in the 2021 fiscal year, a more than 50 percent sales increase over the prior year, according to a press release.

Lottery profits, which are constitutionally required to be spent on Virginia K-12 public school programs, surged nearly 30 percent, topping $765 million, the release states.

The preliminary 2021 fiscal year results were revealed during Wednesday’s meeting of the Lottery Board, and Gov. Ralph Northam attended to accept a ceremonial check for $765 million in Lottery profits for K-12 school programs from Lottery Executive Director Kevin Hall.

“The Virginia Lottery is tasked with the important mission of supporting our public schools, and this year you really delivered,” Gov. Northam said. “Our Administration has focused on strengthening public education across the Commonwealth, and I wanted to be here today to personally congratulate the Virginia Lottery on its recording-breaking performance.”

“The Virginia Lottery delivered record results for Virginia public schools by engaging with new customers online and by enhancing many of our traditional games sold in thousands of retail stores across the state,” said Hall. “Utilizing technology, product innovation and tried-and-true business practices, the Lottery’s players, retail partners and staff delivered in a big way for the Commonwealth’s students and teachers.”

In this fiscal year, the Lottery posted a record $3.26 billion in sales, up from $2.15 billion in 2020, which a 52 percent sales increase according to officials.

They add that the biggest driver of the increase was the introduction of online lottery sales, which caught on quickly with Virginians and accounted for more than $807 million in FY21 sales.

On average, the Virginia Lottery says it helps generate more than $2 million per day for K-12 schools. Lottery revenues traditionally represent about 10 percent of Virginia’s total K-12 education budget.

More than $10 million in unclaimed prize money in 2021′s fiscal year was deposited in the Literary Fund, which provides low-interest loans to localities for public school construction, renovations and technology upgrades, the release states.

For more information, including a localized list of last fiscal year’s Lottery funds to individual school districts, visit the Virginia Lottery’s Giving Back page.

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